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Safeguarding Vulnerable adults

Comment 8th July 2010

Whilst I totally support and understand the need to have all staff crb checked before allowing them to work in care homes, I don't think the government has any idea how this effects the staffing levels in care homes and as a result can put service users at more risk. I beg you to consider this option. Every person wishing to work in care must have their own crb clearance that they are responsible for, like their passport to care.  At the moment if I interview a fantastic person who had clearance for another home just the day before I am not allowed to use it, I have to go through the whole process again, which takes months. I am not allowed to consider their crb from another home, despite getting references, even if I personally know the person, even if it is my own daughter. Just imagine this scenario. I say yes I would like to offer you a job. We fill out the forms and post them. They hand in their notice and I get the references. The day comes that they should start but the checks are not through. They wait and wait and get fed up and go to work in a totally different environment. I have just received clear ance for someon who came to work for me on 1st May. I could not let her do any personal care and had to rota on more staff to shadow her. We are a small home and the cost is huge. Low and behold her clearance arrived on 8th July two weeks after she left to return to her old job nearer home. Why not do it this way. Carers obtain their own crb which enables them to apply for care jobs. The home owner looks at the check and sees that all is ok. She then has a special website to log on to who have a register of all those barred from care (known as ISA at present, although I understand that might be scrapped, formally POVA) She taps in the ID of the person she has interviewed, just in case they have been put on the ISA list since obtaining their crb and if no match is found then it is ok to employ. The whole process could be done in a matter of hours or days instead of months. It would allow home owners to employ people and not loose good carers because of red tape. When a staff member leaves they give us one months notice but it is months before we can replace them. This is draining financially and physically to care homes and as I said before, puts service users at more risk. I have worked in care for a long time and I know this would help so much. You know, I don't actually believe crb is that belt and braces anyway. Clever people get  away with it. I have to pay £56.69 for each  crb. It is yet another money making venture that is being cashed in on.

Why does this matter?

Because I speak for all care home owners who find it so hard to employ people efficiently. Agency staff are a huge drain on resources and I cannot employ agency because I would not put my service users at risk from staff who do not know them or the home. I only have one member of staff at night because we are so small,, therefore I have to cover the shifts if my other staff cannot. I really feel the government need to know what is happening in the care industry. We feel we are not listened to. There are terrible stories in the news and care homes are often viewed in a dim light but we are doing a fantastic job. I am passionate about what I do and the welfare of those I care for is my priority. Sometimes I think I can't take any more.  Who is going to care for our elderly when we small and really genuine care homes can't carry on. Probably the big rich people who own lots of the massive 100 + bedded homes. They are business people. Please hear the voice of us smaller homes who are doing a fantastic job.


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