In the UK we have an ongoing problem with healthcare in general, but care homes in particular provide a great example of why we have to keep working to tackle the issue. It is one of balance and equality across the board when it comes to medical care; specifically, why do we have such a high standard of care in many cases, but in others there are shocking lapses all too often? In fact, investigations have repeatedly found that older people living in care are subject to horrendous failures in the systems put in place to protect them on a daily basis.
This is all despite the fact that in the majority of cases, care in UK homes is up to an outstanding standard, and of course there are thousands of highly skilled and compassionate health workers who are doing a wonderful job looking after the elderly. We always aim to support businesses and individuals who are doing their part to ensure the system works, and it’s easy to find examples of great care being provided across the UK all the time.
However, this only makes the repeated problems that come out in the media (or indeed, stay hidden) all the more shocking and unacceptable. Throughout the industry and across the whole country people are outraged that poor standards and lacklustre regulation have led to countless examples of neglect and abuse in care homes. People have had the enjoyment of the last years or months of their lives taken away by systematic failures, and we are still working towards a solution.
The problem arguably stems back to a lack of resources and funding for the organisations responsible for trying to keep everything in line. For example, the Care Quality Commission is required to inspect and report on the state of UK care homes, but it’s impossible for checks to be thorough and regular enough to prevent every case of poor quality care. The government is also responsible for setting guidelines and legislation, which has been done over the past few years but the resources available to ensure everything is implemented properly are not necessarily there.
More generally there are also ongoing issues with inadequate levels of staff and poor training, which leads to accidental slipping of standards as well as letting people into the system who unfortunately choose to abuse their positions instead of caring for vulnerable people. This also indicates a wider issue with society, and raising awareness of what has happened in the past is the approach taken by many angry insiders who want to keep pushing the issue until we no longer have instances of neglect and poor standards in UK care homes.