Overworked care home staff problems have been linked to increased levels of patient abuse, according to recent studies into abuse taking place, and staff feeling “burnout” in the job.
According to the results of the studies, neglect and abuse can be more common in care homes where staff are struggling to cope with increasing demands.
With staff from almost 100 care homes – around 15,000 employees in total – responding to requests for data, only one care home apparently reported not seeing or partaking in abuse whatsoever. This data, when cross-referenced with data on how staff are coping in their roles, shows a concerning – but perhaps rather obvious – trend.
- Making residents wait for care
- Avoiding a “challenging” resident
- Not allowing enough time for a resident to eat their food
- Inadequate care when moving residents
In addition, there were reports of physical and verbal abuse as well, although in much smaller volumes than those referenced above.
The lead author of the study, Dr Claudia Cooper of the University College London (UCL), said:
“We found low rates of verbal and physical abuse; the abusive behaviours reported were largely matters of neglect. These behaviours were most common in care homes that also had high rates of staff burnout, which suggests it’s a consequence of staff who are under pressure and unable to provide the level of care they would like to offer.”
There have also reportedly been findings of care home helpline calls off the back of inadequately trained staff. Given there appears to be pressures in terms of funding and staff levels, it may be the case that staff do not have enough time to train new employees, leaving knowledge gaps and inexperienced staff who may not have the skills needed for aspects of the role.
When it comes to caring for elderly and vulnerable patients, it is absolutely imperative that staff are equipped to make their lives comfortable and problem-free.
News about care homes and alleged patient abuse have been major headlines for a long time now.
The findings of an obvious link between over-pressured staff and increased abuse in care homes is a worrying matter.
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