So the latest is the London Borough of Islington to add to the list of statutory services failing to adequately safeguard and protect its vulnerable young. In 2008, I was contracted by Islington to audit and assess known vulnerable adults placed in grossly unsuitable and dangerous environments with non-skilled staff. The belated action to concerns resulted from a suicide in the residence and the whole matter was politically fast-tracked by senior managers to reduce media attention. No genuine consideration to the wishes of the adults about where they should live. Moreover, the individual’s to seek legal protection and action for failure in ensuring duty to care. If only the public knew the extent to maltreatment and serious concerns being frequently quietly ‘papered-over’ across high levels of inquiry and inspection!
Where were the social workers and nurses when ‘reviewing the people and looking at their surroundings? When staff and the executive fail and are known to do so, they must be removed from their posts and banned from direct working with vulnerable adults and their professional bodies strike them off from registration.
Possibly, the time is overdue for a new national arm of the Department of Health and Police to be created and coordinate a new joint partnership to respond with more diligence, quality and legal robustness to the vulnerable. It appears health and social care services consistently fail to respond, assess and act in a qualitative, timely manner that can prove it reduces risks and improves the safety of the vulnerable. Time to re-draw the service delivery map and the soon the better for all concerned as in a diminishing welfare state, low staff esteem and increasing need for protecting the vulnerable public the list of horrors increases!