Like most other parts of the NHS and local council services, home care resources are stretched, leaving some taking excessive risks with their staffing just to keep things ticking over.
This might work out in many cases, but two care home workers from Harrow have been jailed after scalding a woman due to not checking the temperature on a care home bath before lowering the woman in. The pair have been jailed for negligence.
Care Workers Not Properly Checked
According to the BBC’s ‘Inside Out’ programme, over 200 care homes have been found to be using improperly or unvetted carers. According to the programme, the Care Quality Commission uncovered staff with previously unknown criminal records working with vulnerable individuals.
Improperly vetted staff can lead to increased risk or liability to care homes and individuals employing carers. Deliberate mistreatment of vulnerable persons, or even simple negligence as in the Harrow case, can lead to criminal or civil liabilities for the care homes or private employers of carers, who owe a duty of care to those they are overseeing the care of.
Preventing Problems with Your Care Staff
The first, and possibly most important, step is to ensure your staff are properly vetted, and that starts with a DBS, or Disclosure and Barring Service, check. A basic DBS check will reveal most past criminal behaviour a potential carer has been involved in, which can reveal potential problems before they occur. For best results, obtain your DBS checks through a care-focused intermediary, such as http://www.carecheck.co.uk/basic-dbs-checks/.
As much as possible during the interview process for a potential carer, ask for and contact references and previous employers. Obtaining reasonably unbiased assessments of potential carers can reveal potential problems or behaviours that may not have been officially recorded. Work history patterns can also be telling. A string of short periods of employment with unconvincing or non-existent references can indicate undesirable behaviours.
Properly vetting your care staff, and only employing properly referenced new carers, can massively reduce future problems for your business, reducing or eliminating potential liability due to staff action or inaction. More importantly, it will ensure that those being cared for receive only the highest standard of care.