UNISON pushes for Plymouth Residential Care Charter to fix failing homes

Plymouth Residential Care Charter

Signing up to a charter on social care would prevent more “inadequate” ratings for Plymouth’s care homes, public service union UNISON has told councillors.

UNISON aims to set the bar higher with a Plymouth Residential Care Charter after five residential care centres were told to improve by Care Quality Commission inspections. The Charter lays out acceptable levels of training that employers should update regularly. It also covers accountability to families, staffing ratios, and connections with NHS services. Minimum conditions for staff include sick and holiday pay, a Living Wage, and criminal record checks.

In Plymouth, 17% of care homes are rated as Inadequate or Requiring Improvement by the CQC. The care sector has seen problems multiply as less training and investment has been provided. By 2020, the government will need to spend £2.6 billion more on care to keep up with demand.

Plymouth in UNISON branch secretary Kevin Treweeks said:

“Our Residential Care Charter sets out what employers need to do to get care right. After another round of bad inspections, it’s time to say no more people have to suffer in badly-run homes. UNISON will work with care providers who are serious about reaching this standard, to help them meet the obligations in the Charter.

“At the root of the problem is the government ignoring the care system. More funding is desperately needed. But clients and staff will not accept low standards. Properly trained care staff with the time and resources to look after people are not an optional extra. It is the minimum an employer should provide. The Residential Care Charter tells them how to do it and UNISON can help deliver it.

“Caring for older and vulnerable people is a duty care workers take seriously. But in too many cases their work is made impossible by badly run homes where staff are treated like a cost. We are proud of the thousands of UNISON members working in social care. Care firms can show they too are proud of their service by adopting the Plymouth Residential Care Charter.

Further info
  • Read UNISON’s Residential Care Charter
  • The five Plymouth care homes rated Inadequate were: Maddalane Residential Home, Devonshire House and Lodge, Waypoints Plymouth, The Mount Care Home and Meadowside and St Francis