By Debbie le Quesne

Industry focused on compliance more than care?

leave a comment »

Caring Times editor, Geoff Hodgson’s blog is always welcome. Recently he recalled the story of his time working as journalist in the goldfields of Western Australia.

The narrative he told is a sad one about an old gold prospector who blew himself up rather than be moved from his ramshackle shanty to be looked after, at the state’s expense, in a care home.

At 80-something he had become “very frail and it was clear he could not continue to live independently,” Geoff recalls.

Moving into a care home is never easy and Geoff rightly observes that it is the loss of independence that is such an “anguished step”.

Good residential care environments indeed do have the potential to give people true independence, options, choices and a more fulfilled lives than they would have if they remained at home.

I agree wholeheartedly with Geoff on this assumption, but only, as he puts it “if they’re allowed to”.

We have possibly the most regulated industry in the world and for most smaller providers, all they’re trying to do is make a legitimate living at providing good care.

I genuinely fear that our caring sector is turning into an industry focused on compliance and regulation, rather than care. These two essential of staying in business are huge money-makers in their own right and we can’t deny the expertise being offered by these relatively new players in caring.

Ironically, I envisage a continuing growth in regulatory framework, while the industry it serves becomes progressively smaller.

No ordinary life is without risk. Each day offers new risk choices for all of us and mostly we navigate them safely.

Such is the risk analysis of life in residential care, few tricky decisions can happen instantly. But it is often that spontaneity that defines life and just like Geoff blogged, the danger is that people like his old gold prospector will “continue to make their own arrangements”.

If the demands of governance are such that all spontaneity on decision-making is stifled, people like Billy surely will continue to make their own arrangements.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: