Catalogue of Abuse in Nhs Care Homes

1352 Words Apr 14th, 2013 6 Pages
‘Anna Walker and David Behan, Inspectors of the Health and Social Care Commission recently launched an audit of all services for England for people with Learning Disabilities.’
The above action comes after it was revealed that NHS staff abused adults with learning difficulties which included, among many other things, such abuse as a deaf and blind man being tied up for 16 hours a day; withdrawal of food; being locked in rooms, cold showers, over reliance on medication; misuse of funds and sexual abuse.
Investigations, in part, prompted by Mencap (who say that there are about 1.5 million people with learning disabilities and around 2,500 of these people live in NHS care homes), uncovered widespread abuse and a lack of understanding of
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Obviously this situation needs to be put right immediately but there are a couple of issues highlighted by this report that need to be looked at more carefully.
Firstly, a member of staff being jailed for the rape of a woman in one of these units with a second member of staff receiving a suspended sentence for a previous sex offence against the same woman is the correct course of action. However, the reason given for the prosecution was that the woman was deemed to have too low a mental age to have given consent in either incident and I take issue with this because there is no real clarity and a limited lesson to be learned by those people charged with the care of people with learning disabilities. In the first instance, nobody employed to take care of a patient or a resident should be engaging in any kind of sexual contact with any person they are caring for; regardless of the patient/residents ability to give consent. Secondly, does this mean that the woman in the case will not be allowed to have a fulfilling relationship with anyone else, will she be allowed to vote, will she be allowed to have any say in decisions about her life? It may be that all of these things will be acceptable for her to do but if this is the case, it needs to be made clear that the prosecution is not only about the woman’s ability to give consent but that

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