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A dominant part of a larger work program is the role Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. This act has been created to help avoid risk of harm, by helping to prevent people who are considered unsuited to work with children and vulnerable adults from getting access to them through their work. The Independent Safeguarding Authority was established as a result of this Act. This act defends vulnerable adults; prohibiting people deemed inappropriate to work with vulnerable adults and children from gaining access through their work to them.
The defense of the Vulnerable Groups Acts 2006 was fully ignored in Winterbourne View. There had been a failure to find the risk pattern with immense numbers of A&E visits, police contacts, and alerts from injured patients. The care home had a lack of social workers experience; safeguarding and commissioning staff with regard to independent hospitals, and a lack of clarity about these professional roles were factors that also led to the continuing mistreatment not detected until a private operation fully exposed the abuse by a TV film crew.
They did not answer to the complaints and people’s perspectives about the service or acknowledge them. (Learning.NSPCC 2019)
The Care Standards Act 2000 established the Social Care Inspection Commission starting up a new system of national minimum standards for all nursing homes, home services and residential homes. Its main function is to endorse social care improvements. The Care Standards Act was rarely used in Winterbourne View care home; the Serious Case Review found proof of an inadequate level of health care, with several patients suffering from conditions that are avoidable with top quality care, including dental problems and constipation.
The care home did not have robust systems for evaluating and monitoring service quality. The managers didn’t help matters, as they didn’t make sure that serious incidents were reported to the quality of care commission, as required. In addition, the care home’s view did not adequately respond to allegations of abuse, nor did it take responsible adequate steps to properly identify and prevent the possibility of abuse before it took place. In addition, they did not recognise and manage the risks associated with patients’ welfare, health and safety. (Learning.nspcc 2019) (CQC.ORG 2018)
The Care Homes Act (ADULT PLACEMENTS) REGULATIONS 2000
Adult placement provides an alternative, highly efficient form of accommodation and person – focused support offered by ordinary people or families (adult placement careers) in the local community to people (mostly individuals with learning disabilities, also older people and with mental health problems). This empowers people to share in the adult placement career’s life. The adult placement scheme is a strategy maintained by the Care Standards Act 2000, ruled by a local council with social service authorities or by an independent body responsible for supporting and monitoring adult placement caregivers recruiting, evaluating, training and supporting adult placement caregivers; for taking referrals, placing adult placement caregivers and support and observe the placement of adults. The winterbourne View care home did not take the appropriate action with regard to people who were not unfit to work in care settings or operate an effective recruitment procedure. They also failed to deliver adequate supervision and training for staff in their responsibilities. (Nidirect 2019)
The Human Rights Act was passed in the United Kingdom in 1998. It empowers you to defend your rights in the courts of the UK and requires public organizations containing, police and local councils to treat people equally, government, with fairness, respect and dignity. We are all protected by the Human Rights Act – young and old, rich and poor. The care home failed to meet the individual needs of the patients. Simon and Simone, patients at Winterbourne View, both suffered physical violence and humiliation. Simone was slapped and held in a headlock before being forced fully clothed into a shower by one of the careers, Wayne Rogers, started to slap Simone the patient. Simon was repeatedly slapped, pulled to the ground in a headlock and had his trousers forcibly pulled down. Both were verbally abused throughout. (Nidirect 2019)
Disability discrimination law is in place to endorse civil rights for individuals with disabilities and to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities. It forbids discrimination of disability by employers against job seekers and employees with disabilities and by service providers against users with disabilities. It enforces a commitment on employers and service providers to make sensible adjustments for people with disabilities to help them remove obstacles to gaining and remaining jobs and accessing and using services and goods. Winterbourne View failed the vulnerable residents and did not follow the Disability Discrimination Act. Institutional abuse was taking place frequently.
The Staff were filmed slapping extremely vulnerable residents, soaking them in water, trapping them under chairs, taunting and swearing at them, pulling their hair and poking their eyes. Wayne in particular, barged into a vulnerable female’s bedroom and shouted, ”If you don’t get out of your room now, I will drag you out!” and took off her duvet cover. Not only was that disrespectful, it was also a trigger for the individual, she may have been abused previously in her life and by a grown male barging into her room, and it may bring back distraught feelings. The individual was so scared that she tore her clothes off and wanted to jump out of the window. Wayne and the other staff took advantage of her and several other vulnerable individuals because of the fact that the vulnerable individual was not able to tell other individuals who could help her (Family/ police). (RNIB 2019)
There will be an outline of working strategies and procedures used in health and social care in order to reduce the risk of abuse.
The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) provides a criminal background checking service to help organizations recognise candidates who might be unsuited to work with vulnerable members of children and society. Compass Disability Services uses this CRB Disclosure service as an organization that is often in instant contact with vulnerable people. They must practice awareness and diligence in recruiting staff who will work with vulnerable groups in accordance with the Vulnerable People Policy and Recruitment of Ex – offenders Policy of Compass Disability Services. There are also legal obligations for the organisation to check the conviction status of those who will be working with youth under the age of 18, disabled or elderly people. All of the staff working at Winterbourne View should have had their DBS checked before they started working. Checking the DBS is not always effective, as some individuals may be committing crimes and have just not been caught yet but it is still an important step to take and will still prevent some individuals from harming vulnerable patients. Winterbourne view should have made safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable individuals, like Wayne and the other staff from working with vulnerable groups at the home. They did not take reasonable steps to identify the possibility of abuse and prevent it before it occurred by checking their DBS. (GOV.UK 2019)
No secrets Department of Health Guidance
There can be no secrets and no hiding place especially when it comes to exposing the abuse of vulnerable adults. The guidance is an action framework within which all accountable agencies work together and to ensure a coherent policy to protect vulnerable adults at risk of abuse and a consistent and effective response to any conditions that give rise to concern or official complaints or anxiety expressions. The primary objective of the agencies should be to stop abuse where possible, but if the preventive strategy fails to work, agencies should ensure that there are rigorous procedures in place to deal with abuse incidents. Winterbourne View had not responded to or considered complaints and view of people at the service, which resulted to ongoing abuse to the vulnerable individuals. (GOV.UK 2019)
They ensure that health and social care services deliver safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care to people and encourage improved care services. They register the providers of care, monitor services, inspect them, and rate them. Furthermore, they are taking action to protect people using services and speak with their independent voice and publish their views on major health and social care quality issues. The CQC protects the rights of vulnerable people, including those restricted by the Mental Health Act, throughout their work. Furthermore, they listen to your experiences and act on them and work with other organizations and public groups to involve the public and people receiving care. They had failed to ensure that people living in Winterbourne View were fully protected from risk, such as the risks posed by their own staff by dangerous practices.
The report notes there has been a systemic failure to protect individuals and investigate claims of abuse. In its legal duty, the provider had failed to notify the Care Quality Commission of major incidents such as injuries to patients or missing occasions. Inspectors said employees do not seem to understand people’s needs in their care, complex needs, adults with learning disabilities and complex behavior. Individuals were recruited who had no background in care services, references were not always checked and staff were also not fully trained or supervised. A few staff was too willing to use restraint methods without considering other options. The CQC made certain that admissions would be stopped immediately and that additional staff would be brought in to protect patients until they were able to be moved. (CQC 2019)
Whistle blowing is an early alert system that gives managers the opportunity to correct to things before catastrophic things happen. For many individuals and staff who speak up, it is a big step that can often cause individuals to feel stressed and anxious. All those who raise concerns can make substantial improvements. The manager, senior Castle beck staff, and the Care Quality Commission initially overlooked Terry Bryan, the whistleblower and former senior nurse at Winterbourne View. However, his resilience paid off, and the resulting BBC Panorama expos? brought about real change for the good. In relation to whistleblowers, the CQC also changed its practice. (SCIE.ORG 2019)
I will describe legislations regulations, working strategies and procedures used in health and social care to reduce the risk of two types of abuse.
The 2006 Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (SVGA) was passed to help avoid harm or potential harm by stopping people who are considered unsuitable to care for children and vulnerable adults as well gaining access to them through their work. By using this legislation, it would’ve helped to protect the vulnerable patients at Winterbourne view from harm before the staff came to the home; they did not perform effective and efficient recruitment procedures or take adequate steps with regard to people who weren’t even fit to work in care settings. Reference wasn’t always checked and staff members haven’t even been properly trained or supervised. Furthermore, there was a systemic failure to protect or investigate the claims of abuse. The staff would not be able to gain any form of access and the vulnerable individuals would’ve felt comfortable, happy, not discriminated against and safe if this legislation was used well, the vulnerable individuals would not have been failed, they would have fully trained professionals caring for them and their needs would have been fully met. (GOC.ORG 2019)
By using the CQC effectively, Winterbourne view would’ve monitored investigated and regulated services in order ensure that they also meet the basic quality and safety standards. To protect and prevent abuse, they will do this by: checking that care providers have efficient systems and processes to help safeguard vulnerable individuals like Simon and Simone from neglect and abuse. The Care Quality Commission will help prevent institutional abuse by having Inspections that are designed to ensure that providers receive safe, efficient and high-quality care in order to notice any form of abuse to get rid of the problem right away. Planning and delivery would have met the individual needs of people, and robust systems would have been in place to assess and monitor service quality. They also promote improvement of providers. (CQC.ORG 2018)
Talking about unethical behaviour, such as harassment or fraud, is difficult without access to a reporting channel that allows for safe and anonymous conversation. Several potential whistle-blowers are afraid of repercussions or disdain. The Care Quality Commission gave a job to the whistleblowing nurse who exposed inadequate care at the Winterbourne View Hospital. This prevented the staff from abusing vulnerable individuals in care home in the future. This is the reason why the abuse was captured, while Mr Bryan tipped off the broadcaster by a BBC Panorama investigation. This led to prosecutions.
By Whistle blowing, there is a better prevention of more institutional abuse happening in the future; not only for Winterbourne View but for all care homes. Winterbourne view had a professional duty, which they failed to take prompt action to raise concerns as patients’ safety is at risk, and their care and also dignity were being compromised. (SHAUN LINTERN 2012)
As Winterbourne view did not have arrangements in place to protect people against unlawful or excessive restraint. Staff did not appear to understand the needs of the people in their care, adults with learning disabilities, complex needs and challenging behaviour. Furthermore, they abused their power by physically and psychologically abusing the vulnerable patients, especially because they were unable to report and defend themselves due to their disabilities and mental- ill health. The Safeguarding duties under the Care act 2014 could help prevent the abuse.
The purpose of this guide is to clarify existing powers of access to adults who are suspected of being at risk of abuse or neglect. It applies to those who has care and support needs (whether or not the local authority meets either of those needs) and is experiencing, or at risk, abuse or neglect as a result of those care and support needs cannot protect itself from the risk of, or even experience of, neglect or abuse. The guide was invented to provide information on legal options for having access to individuals who meet the three criteria’s in which access is restricted or denied.
It is originally intended as a reference, not as a learning tool, in situations of uncertainty. It is crucial that care workers, social workers and their managers be as precise as possible (Winterbourne View were not working/informing with other professionals to do so) as to which legal powers or options are applicable to which situations and, in cases of uncertainty, inform their senior managers and perhaps the local authority’s legal department. (GOV 2018)
Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world. In the UK, these rights are contained in the Human Rights in healthcare. If a public authority breaches or doesn’t respect your human rights, you can take action under the Act. The prohibition of torture, abuse and degrading treatment: no matter what the situation, the act prevents physical abuse by stating that all humans must never be tortured or treated in an inhuman or degrading manner. When providing health and care services, public authorities must ensure that they respect and protect your human rights.
This may require taking positive and constructive measures to ensure that there is no violation of your human rights. Some public authorities include: local authority and NHS funded care homes, social services and private care homes funded by a local authority. Article 3 protects you from Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of torture (mental or physical) and deportation or if there is a real risk that you will face torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the country concerned.
The state must also fully investigate such treatment’s credible allegations. Roger’s overall behaviour amounted to physical and mental ill-treatment to extremely vulnerable people who were in his care, often of a particularly cruel nature. Roger’s first resort was to use completely inappropriate restraint methods often coupled with taunting and assault. (EHRC 2019)
Protection of vulnerable Adults scheme in England and Wales for adult placement schemes:
The Vulnerable Adult Protection Scheme will act as a workforce ban on those professionals who in their care have harmed vulnerable adults, which will prevent abuse from happening again in Winterbourne View. This will add an extra level of protection to pre – employment processes, such as checks by the Criminal Records Bureau, already taking place and stopping known abusers from joining the care workforce. It will complement the government’s drive to raise standards across health and social care, along with initiatives such as “No Secrets” and “In Safe Hands” and other specific measures to prevent and address adult abuse. Helping to standards is now an end in itself, but it is still the best way to protect vulnerable adults who are typically harmed due to a lack of care professionals while they are abused. (NHS 2019)
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