I watched Panorama last night which featured an investigation into the care being provided by “care” companies in the homes of elderly people and I was speechless at what I was watching.
This is not the first time that panorama has went undercover in the “care” industry; in the past they have focused on “care” homes. The problems exposed last night in the programme appear to be endemic across the country and throughout the industry. This is deeply concerning.
Care plans, which are legal documents and vital to ensure that the person being cared for receives the right care at the right time were missing, incomplete or out-of-date (on some occasions by up to two years). Details of medication that should be getting taken and when it should be getting taken was not there, including medication such as insulin. The copies of the care plans which were supposed to be kept at the company’s headquarters were found lying around in cars – and one employee even admitted to throwing information as important and confidential as this out.
People’s visits were getting cut short to the point where no care at all could be administered or were being missed altogether. This resulted in people lying in their own excrement and urine.
The programme told of a Scottish local authority opening up the bid for a contract to a reverse auction. Which resulted in a company who was clearly unfit to carry out the standard of care required being awarded a care contract worth more than £2m per year.
I am absolutely disgusted at this and it terrifies me to think that while I sit here typing this blog entry that people are in this situation. This is abuse and it has to stop.
If you didn’t see the programme it is available on BBC iPlayer for seven days from the date it was broadcast. The programme was originally broadcast at 21:00 on Thursday 9 April 2009.