Good morning I can’t believe we are nearing the end of May. I’m hoping the weather is going to improve and that we have an enjoyable summer.
This blog has only one topic and it is in response to the programme on Wednesday the 22nd of May “Undercover Hospital”. I’m not sure if you saw it – if you haven’t I would suggest that you do. It is not comfortable watching and in my opinion it is unbelievable that people with a learning disability are still subject to abuse whilst In care there appear to have been no lessons learned from the horrendous issues uncovered through the Winterbourne expose in May / June 2011.
This programme has led our leadership team to discuss the issues raised and the abuse uncovered within the programme.
Abuse is not always something that you can see – it can be subtle. The essence of it is the misuse of power, and that may show up in
· taking something off someone we work with to punish them,
· borrowing money, food, clothes,
· persistently turning up late or leaving a shift early.
It is also about the management of the services we deliver and we need to ensure that the staff deployed to deliver support have accurate and up to date information about the person being supported and are trained and competent to deliver safe support that is empowering, encouraging and innovative.
Fair Deal prides itself on being community focussed with the people we work with at the heart of the organisation who supported by committed and fully trained staff with empathy and respect. We have introduced a set of values that was agreed across the organisation and it is important that we all follow these in our every day interactions with the people we are working with, families, external agencies and Fair Deal colleagues.
I would like to remind you that we have a whistleblowing policy and this is within our policy manual. This policy will be discussed at forthcoming team meetings.
I would urge you to review the policy and if in your day to day interactions, you notice or feel that something is not right that you raise this with your line manager, if it is in relation to your line manager then with our Chief Executive and if it is about me then it would be the Chair of the Board, Kenny Stocks.
It is our responsibility to safeguard the people we are working with and not be complicit in vulnerable people supported by Fair Deal being subjected to abuse.
This is something that I am passionate about and over the years we as an organisation have had to manage situations where the power imbalance and abuse was evident. This has led to people losing their job and on occasion been charged and had their registration with the SSSC revoked. For us as social care workers it is our duty to do what we can to safeguard and blow the whistle, and this is also is a responsibility of our employment and SSSC registration.
As always my door is open if this is something that you would want to discuss with me. My blog is not about being restrictive or not supporting people to take a risk, it is about raising awareness and ensuring the people we work with are not being abused.
Ann Marie Docherty
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