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The Patients Association calls for regulation of home care assistants

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of The Patients Association, said: “I am horrified by the number of allegations of abuse made against carers working in people’s homes across the UK.

“The figure reported by File on 4 of 23,000 complaints could be the tip of the iceberg; indeed, we believe that many instances of abuse or neglect go unreported for a whole array of reasons. Regrettably, even cases that are reported often do not lead to adequate investigations, so the abuse and neglect by these care home workers continues.

“The video footage provided by File on 4 from CCTV surveillance of Dora Melton being abused by her carers at home is harrowing.

“Rightly, the Department of Health is calling for more people to be cared for at home, so they are not occupying hospital beds unnecessarily. In the light of the shocking abuse which is evidently taking place, who would want to be cared for at home or seek home care for their loved ones?

“The Patients Association has consistently called for care assistants to be regulated and now the need is stronger than ever. At present, care assistants are caring for the most vulnerable people in our society yet they are not regulated and so they are free to move from one care provider to another seeking new employment, even if they were dismissed from a previous role for misconduct. If care assistants were properly regulated, they would have compulsory training and education and would have standards to meet on how to care for the people they are looking after. Most importantly, however, it would also mean that if a care assistant was found to have neglected or abused a patient, he or she could be removed from the register and prevented from working as a carer again.

“We urge the Department of Health to require regulation of health care assistants now to help ensure that vulnerable patients are properly cared for.”

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