What the recent investigation into The Priory Healthcare group has taught us about increasing pressures upon systems of care in the UK.
On Thursday 18th January, before the Easter break, we witnessed another undercover documentary from ITV that focused on children with mental health issues being mistreated by staff.
We at Studio 3 do accept that the vast majority of staff are trying to do their best in the face of resourcing issues and increased pressures upon systems of care. However, to quote Ghandi, a society is judged by how it cares for the vulnerable.
In the UK, we have had the Winterbourne View documentary (2012), and the Aras Attracta documentary in the Republic of Ireland (2015), both of which highlighted abuses in care environments. How is it that we seem to struggle to learn from previous exposure documentaries?
Understanding that we appear to be in a situation where staffing resources, especially staffing turnover, is becoming more and more of an issue for service providers. Surely training and coaching is even more necessary in such a climate? It also strikes us that the very basics of support and compassion sometimes seem to be lacking in environments. We understand from social psychological research that when practices become the acceptable norm, good people can start to conform to very poor practices.
This case is a sad example of organisations putting profit before care, and overlooking the very basic needs of the people they care for. What is important, first and foremost, is the physical and emotional well-being of vulnerable individuals. That is why funding staff training and ensuring appropriate levels of staffing in facilities such as these should be the first priority, not an afterthought.