Nursing homes and hospices are some very important institutions in our society. These places care for the people who we no longer have the ability to look after. Most of us don’t have the time or ability to look after our parents and grandparents when they lose their independence. Because of this, we put them in these long term care facilities, knowing that they’ll be well cared for. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Recently, in South Yorkshire, England, a woman was convicted on six counts of ill-treating residents at one such institution. The woman served as the manager at the Travis Gardens care home in Hexthrope for the severely learning disabled in the summer of 2007. In that time, she abused three of her residents before she was finally reported by some of the staff members.
The woman was given 6 concurrent 6 month prison sentences, one for each offense, and was suspended for 18 months. However, the judge has suspended her prison sentence, allowing her to go free for the time being. In his sentencing, the judge told the woman that she could expect to lose her job in nursing.
Because nursing home abuse is such a common occurrence, it got me wondering about the checks and balances in this particular system. Do we have an extensive enough background check for employees in this type of field? Do we need to change some other aspect of the hiring process? Perhaps that’s all working fine. If so, do we need more or harsher repercussions on the legal end of things? As always, I’d like to hear what the public thinks about the subject.