Government is committed to ending abuse in care system

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From: Norman Lamb MP, Minister of State for Care and Support, Department of Health, London.

YOUR columnist Tom Richmond’s suggestion that this Government is indifferent to failures in care, such as those uncovered by the recent Panorama documentary (The Yorkshire Post, May 10) couldn’t be further from the truth.

The provision of care is undeniably complex – but let me make this clear: poor care is completely unacceptable.

Everyone should receive great care delivered by well-trained, compassionate staff – we are committed to making this the reality and to preventing abuse and neglect.

That is why we are introducing new fundamental standards which will make it clear what level of care people should have, a “fit and proper person” requirement will come into force in the next few months to check the honesty, integrity, competence and capability of directors of organisations that provide care and we’re putting in place measures to ensure that directors who consent or connive in poor care will be liable to prosecution for failing to meet these fundamental standards. This was something I specifically asked to be brought in following the terrible events at Winterbourne View. We inherited a flawed regulatory system which made prosecutions very difficult to bring.

We are ensuring that the inspection regime is much more robust by beefing up the Care Quality Commission so that they improve the way they inspect care homes and hospitals. The CQC and its Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, will have for the first time the power to take action when these standards are not being met. Care homes will be rated so that everyone will know what their local services are like.

We have worked with the care home sector to develop the Social Care Commitment, a promise to provide people with high quality services and to raise public confidence. People will be able to visit the NHS Choices website and search for details of every registered care provider in the country and just like TripAdvisor you can leave comments on 
what you think about the services for others to see, so there will be no hiding place for poor care.

Finally, we are bringing in a statutory duty of candour which will require care homes and other services to be open with patients and families when things go wrong resulting in significant harm.

There should be no doubt that this Government is committed to eradicating abuse.