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Thousands of elderly residents at risk in care homes

A report by the Telegraph has revealed that more than 500 care homes are putting residents at risk because of poorly trained staff.

Figures released by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have shown that 522 care services have failed to provide the most basic standards of care. In addition, the figures suggest that thousands of elderly residents are being looked after by carers with no training or experience, with some even holding criminal records.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 states that it is the responsibility of care homes to ensure that their workers are suitably experienced and qualified for the job. Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC, said that care providers must ensure that there are always “sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff”.

Despite clear guidelines, many care homes are failing to comply. Inspections conducted by the CQC found 150 care homes where workers failed to meet basic legal care requirements, and ten homes where residents were in danger of suffering “a serious current or long-term impact on their health, safety and welfare”. Earlier this month, 65 residents were evacuated from Merok Park Care Home in Surrey, after it was found to have untrained staff and squalid conditions.

Former Care Minister, Paul Burstow told the Telegraph, “bouncers and hairdressers need a licence to work. But the people we trust to enter our homes to carry out some of the most intimate tasks imaginable have no licence, no mandatory training, no exams to pass, no required on-the-job assessment of their abilities. This has to change.”

CEO of The Good Care Group, Fiona Lowry, added, “elderly people deserve a trusted service with carers who can provide the support they need. We believe that all carers should go through a rigorous recruitment process and receive ongoing training to ensure they are giving the highest quality of care possible”.