"We owe it to the residents to confront the institutional problems at Bupa."
Commenting on the Channel 4 Dispatches investigation into Bupa Care Homes broadcast on Monday 19 June, Lizanne Devonport, UNISON North West Regional Organiser said:
“It is shocking and upsetting to see the mistreatment of vulnerable people in Bupa care homes.
“Where individual misconduct is alleged it needs to be investigated promptly, but the issues in these homes go much deeper and we owe it to the residents to confront the institutional problems at Bupa.
“Our members tell us that Bupa homes are run on a shoe-string budget, with rationing of basic resources like incontinence pads, routine understaffing, and buildings left in a very poor state of repair. Staff have been instructed not to raise issues with their union and they fear that they will be blamed and punished by managers if they speak up about their concerns. We raised these points with Bupa in February but have received no meaningful response.
“Bupa makes £700million in profit and promotes itself as a quality organisation, but our experience is that Bupa is amongst the worst residential care providers that we encounter.
“There is an urgent need for change. Bupa needs to ensure that staff have the time and resources they need to provide dignity in care for residents – Bupa should not be trying to provide care on the cheap.
“And there needs to be a management culture that encourages staff to raise any concerns about care quality. As part of UNISON’s ‘Dignity in Social Care’ campaign we are promoting the development of such a culture in care organisations, and we are seeking an urgent meeting with Bupa to take this forward.”
UNISON has recently published a Residential Care Charter that sets out solutions to raise the standard of care.