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From: The Socialist issue 840, 21 January 2015: Take the wealth off the super-rich

Search site for keywords: Rochdale - Profit - Elderly - Mental health - Agency workers - Care worker

Care home scandal: When profit comes first...

Hugh Caffrey

The privately run Parklands House care home in Rochdale was so bad that according to the Manchester Evening News: "Residents were seen sitting in soiled clothing, medication was left lying around and some patients were not receiving the right prescriptions." It stank so badly inside that inspectors could smell it from the outside.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the for-profit care home (which accommodates people with dementia and mental health issues), run by Eldercare Limited, suffered from a shortage of trained staff and an over-reliance on agency workers, leaving residents at risk of abuse.

A Rochdale social care worker said: "It is unacceptable to the people in homes who deserve better, staff who deserve better, and the public who need to see better and have a trust that their family member is being well cared for."

The drive by private care home companies to make a profit means squeezing the wages bill, resulting in inadequate staffing levels and low pay, as well as insufficient spending on food and equipment.

Local community activist and Socialist Party member David Fenwick-Finn says: "It's not the only care home in Rochdale recently to get a negative CQC report; there have been ten recently reported as below standard, which nationwide equates to a system on the verge of collapse. Add to that council spending cuts on adult care yet to come and a growing elderly population.

"Clearly it is time to de-privatise social care and invest in proper standardised training, and a living wage of at least 10 an hour minimum."

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