According to Government figures, fewer than 40 hospitals in England have a registered Changing Place facility. The reality of this situation is that disabled children, teenagers and adults have no safe toilet to use when attending hospital appointments or when visiting friends and family in hospitals.
Disabled people, and their carers, are being put at risk, due to manual moving and handling techniques being used without appropriate equipment. Disabled people are being put at risk of pressure ulcers due to being sat in soiled pads for prolonged periods of time. All of this while in a hospital setting, in outpatient departments, clinic departments and for anyone just wanting to visit their loved ones.
The Department of Health in England have made available 2 million pounds to provide Changing Places toilets in acute hospital settings. Hospital Trusts do need to apply.
The government failed to take any account of the impact on disabled pupils of its “discriminatory” plans to expand grammar schools in England, say campaigners. A government consultation paper published this week, Schools That Work For Everyone, includes plans to remove the ban on opening new grammar schools in England. But there is not a single mention of disabled pupils in the consultation paper, and the Department for Education (DfE) has failed to carry out an equality impact assessment of its proposals. Inclusive education campaigners say that expanding grammar schools – secondary schools which select pupils via an entrance test – will discriminate against disabled children and lead to more segregated education in special schools. And they say the plans are a clear breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, with new UN guidance making it clear that all segregated education should end and be replaced by “inclusive classroom teaching in accessible learning
Overseeing body, the Professional Standards Authority, described the current regulatory system as outdated and incoherent
Social work regulation needs a “radical overhaul”, according to the Professional Standards Authority, in a hard-hitting report which questioned whether the current system was fit for purpose.
Frightened into compliance
In a report published last week, the overseeing body said regulation which attempts to “frighten [registrants] into resentful compliance” is to the detriment of performance.
Rather than inflexible and punitive regulation, which stopped practitioners from being innovative, there should be a greater focus on how regulators can support registrants’ professionalism and prevent them from being overburdened with rules and guidance, the report said.
It added the idea that risk of harm can be totally eliminated threatens to corrode the public trust in professionals and in regulation itself.
“All health and care interventions have an element of risk which cannot be totally eliminated,” the PSA pointed out.
“Too often we have seen examples of regulatory mission creep, where regulators have sought to expand the boundaries of their activity in ways that have resulted in confusion for the public and internal conflict of interest.”
“Registrants’ careers and lives, and those of their families, can often be seriously and lastingly damaged too, sometimes by [registrants’] words or actions lasting no more than a few moments,” the PSA report said.
The PSA also concluded that a “proliferation of regulatory organisations inevitably impedes the pace of change and improvement across the sector. It also embeds operational inefficiency and unnecessary expense.”
Instead of the current fragmented system, there should be shared objectives between professional and systems regulators, the report recommended.
The Health and Care Professions Council which regulates social workers, and Ofsted which regulates the authorities that employ them, should share data and intelligence.
There are more than 20 different regulatory bodies and 12 professional regulators for health, care and social work in the UK. The report said this “vastly complicated and incoherent” regulator system existed despite a lack of understanding of the benefits of regulation and its influence on registrants behaviour.
The PSA proposed several steps that should be taken to improve regulation:
A shared “theory of regulation” across the sector
Shared objectives for system and professional regulators, and greater clarity on respective roles and duties
Transparent benchmarking to set standards
A reduced scope of regulation so it focuses on what works
A proper risk assessment model for who and what should be regulated put into practice
A PSA spokesman said the report had been distributed widely and it was hoped it would stimulate discussion about what the next steps should be. ………………’