Better training needed to protect adults in care

A lack of adequate training is increasing the risk of vulnerable adults being abused in care homes according to a new study by Community Care/CareTech.

The problem

Insufficient skills among staff have been identified as a significant concern in care homes, with one care home manager saying 60% of staff working with older people lack the knowledge and ability to recognise the risks facing residents.

Other reports have also identified areas of weakness within care workers’ skill sets, with a report from the Social Care Institute for Excellence highlighting communication skills can often be an issue.

The researchers observed some staff did not interact with patients while carrying out duties, while others used patronising styles of speech and unsuitable terms of endearment. It was also noted training in how to discuss difficult or sensitive issues seems to be neglected in many care homes.

And it’s not just a lack of training which is causing concern, the effectiveness of existing training has also been called into question. Respondents to the Community Care/CareTech survey suggested more training on specific areas such as how to deal with challenging behaviour and around the legislation related to keeping vulnerable adults away from risks is needed.

What’s being done to boost skills?

Over the past year, a number of steps have been taken to boost skills within care homes. In March, Health Minister Norman Lamb announced plans for compulsory training for care home staff to help ensure they have the basic skills they need to do their job well and provide adequate levels of care.

The Government is also promoting Apprenticeships as a way of ensuring the health and social care sector has a highly-skilled and experienced workforce.

It has committed to doubling the number of Apprenticeships in social care to 100,000 in the next five years, with Lord Howe, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, saying: “This will allow us to nurture managers who can go on later to work in the health and social care services and play a valuable role in driving up standards of care for patients and service users.”

How can we help?

Our health and social care qualifications and courses will enable your staff to focus on the skills essential to all care environments; including hospitals, health centres, educational and community centres, residential homes, advice centres, or people’s own homes.

We also offer a selection of online eCourses, specialising in food safety, stress management, and health and safety at work.

For more information call us on 0800 101 901 or request our information pack.