26 January 2017: The Nursing Times yesterday revealed the shocking details of a survey on the Abuse of residents in nursing homes: results of a staff questionnaire. This stated that 88.5% of respondents (out of 207 recently appointed staff in five nursing homes) had seen or suspected abuse by care workers and nursing staff. We know from the latest Safeguarding Statistics that older residents of care homes are particularly vulnerable to abuse. This survey gives details of staff accounts of appalling practices in nursing homes and describes many dehumanising and degrading actions by those employed to care for people at the end of their lives. They also illustrate the struggle that many relatives have when raising concerns about family members in care
The report quotes examples of “cocooning” i.e. making up a bed to prevent a resident from moving and interfering with their incontinence pad, and “hooking”, using clothing to ‘hook’ a resident to a toilet to prevent them from moving. These practices were found in a variety of locations, suggesting that such techniques may well be widespread.
The article also highlighted the fact that many of the abusive actions are not easily detected or easily perceptible by observers and become part of the hidden culture of the home. The report concludes that current “governance, safeguarding and regulatory processes to evaluate the quality of older people’s care in private sector nursing homes are often ineffective” which means that such abuse will continue unless there are major changes.
CQC’s misguided stance on complaints
This is the reason why we argue that:
If you have witnessed or suspect poor care, please call our Helpline: 020-7359-8136 and we will report your concerns to the Care Quality Commission.
 Moore S (2017) Abuse of residents in nursing homes: results of a staff questionnaire. Nursing Times [online]; 113: 2, 29-33.
 *Safeguarding Adults 2015-2016, Experimental Statistics, NHS Digital