By Max Clarke

When footage of staff at the Winterbourne View care home abusing people with learning difficulties shocked the nation when exposed on the BBC’s Panorama, the Government sprang into action.

The facility in question was immediately closed and the Care Quality Commission conducted inspections in each of parent company Castlebeck’s 23 other care homes. The results of the investigation, published today, reveal ‘serious concerns’ about widespread deficiencies in the quality of care.

12 of the establishments were found to be compliant with the CQC’s standards, though for the remaining 11, insufficient numbers of poorly trained staff.

Public sector union, UNISON responded to the findings, deeming the failings an inevitable facet of privatised care provision. The union’s Social Care chief, Helga Pile, comments:

“Inspectors and regulators cannot expose failures when they are struggling with staff numbers and resources.

“Elderly care is a service where mandatory regulation is vital to protect their interests. The privatised model means that the time carers can spend with each person is minimal, forcing corners to be cut, and employers see basic training as an expensive luxury. It is not right to try to get elderly care on the cheap.

“The Government review must lead to a properly resourced regulation and inspection system and tougher standards on workforce training and support.

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