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By Debbie le Quesne

Care work ‘loophole’ simply does not exist

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I don’t normally read the Mirror, but I was pointed to a recent article over the disgraced carer who was struck off over the Stafford Hospital scandal and is still working with the elderly.

If true it’s both puzzling and worrying.

Bonka Kostova was found guilty of a string of charges including screaming at a 73-year-old dementia patient and dragging him out of a toilet with his pyjamas round his ankles.

The case emerged as part of the Stafford Hospital scandal and made headlines last month.

The midwife failed to turn up to a Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing, which banned her from ever working again in that role.

But, according to the Mirror “an alarming loophole in the system means she can still be a carer because healthcare assistants are not officially regulated.”

I see red. Yes, unless the law changed last night, carers are regulated and if there was any loophole at all in my opinion it’s because proper procedure has not been followed.

Clearly, this case should have involved the Safeguarding mechanics. Abuse and Safeguarding are synonymous – never the twain should part!

The case of Kostova should also have been referred to the International Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and it’s the employer’s responsibility to carry out that referral.

And what’s more, the new Disclosure and Barring service – the old CRB – will flag up any safeguarding issue.

The Mirror names the care home where Kostova is (or was) working, but I’m not that brave. A statement from the home said she had been suspended, pending an inquiry.

This woman trained as a midwife in Bulgaria and was working as a healthcare assistant at Stafford in 2010 while waiting for her authorisation to practice to arrive.

In July that year, the Mirror reports, she grabbed “Patient A”, shouting: “I hate you. You are no longer a human being but an animal.”

The NMC said at its hearing there was “no evidence” her failings would improve with more training and her misconduct was so serious she was struck off the nursing register.

Panel chair Timothy Cole said: “Ms Kostova had shown no remorse or offered any explanation for her actions.”

I’m not a health reporter, but the article, in my opinion is wholly misleading and serves to undermine the good work the vast majority of carers and nurses do. A little research into procedure may have enlightened the reader that such a glaring “loophole” really does not exist.

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Written by debbielq

February 28, 2013 at 10:01 am

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