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Organisational abuse is the inability to provide a good level of care to an individual or group of people in a care setting such as a hospital or care home, or in a person’s own home if they receive care assistance there. It may be a one-off incident, repeated incidents or on-going ill-treatment. It could be due to neglect or poor care because of the arrangements, processes and practices in an organisation. This could include:

  • a lack of dignity or respect in a care setting
  • rigid routines or processes organised to meet staff needs rather than the individuals
  • disrespectful attitudes towards individuals receiving care
  • a culture of abusive behaviour or tolerance of abusive behaviour
  • repeated failure to prevent  abuse, or neglect within a service; including incorrect use of restraint, isolation, or unauthorised deprivations of liberty

These may include:

  • treating adults like children
  • strict, regimented or inflexible routines or schedules for daily activities such as meal times, bed / awakening times, bathing / washing, going to the toilet
  • withholding or refusing necessary medication

Quality of Care

Safeguarding is not a substitute for:

  • provider’s responsibilities to provide safe and high quality care and support
  • commissioners regularly assuring themselves of the safety and effectiveness of commissioned services
  • the Care Quality Commission (CQC) ensuring that regulated providers comply with the fundamental standards of care or by taking enforcement action
  • the core duties of the police to prevent and detect crime and protect life and property
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