Care Quality commission (CQC) assessment of Stockport Council’s Reach service “Requires Improvement”. Some of the findings made by CQC under personal care
“Regulation 12 HSCA RA Regulations 2014 Safe care and treatment Individual risk assessments were not always in place.
Medicines were not always administered and managed safely.”
Support vulnerable adults and the elderly by protecting whistleblowers in the United Kingdom
The judge stated in her judgement “The claimant was vocal in her poor opinion of the service offered to clients”, yet I was not allowed to rely on the documentation that evidenced vulnerable adults and the elderly received sub-standard care. I was reminded several times the Tribunal Court will only consider racial discrimination.
I never knew what oppression and injustice meant until I became a victim. I never knew what injustice and corruption meant until vulnerable adults and the elderly cried on the phone, they were hungry, frustrated by individual Solutions SK failure to provide adequate Home Care Support Services My name is Phoebe Muchilwa. In April 2011 I accepted the position of Resource Planning at Individual Solution SK, starting work on 5th July 2011. My job was to work with computer-based systems to allocate staffing resources to cover all new and existing request support.
After only a few months into the job, I noted that working conditions and relationships were poor. I never knew I was blowing the whistle. I thought I was just doing my job. I reported my concerns to Individual Solutions SK management, as well as the GMB Trade Union, and made recommendations for improvement frequently.
Little did I know that I had inadvertently taken on a target oriented, profit first, care later system and my concerns threatened the stability of the system. During my time at Individual Solutions SK, there were several different occasions when my colleagues and I cried at our desks, empathising with vulnerable adults, the elderly people and home support workers. Vulnerable adults and the elderly people would ring to ask why their carer had not arrived, why the visit was missed and as a result they were hungry. Telling vulnerable adults and the elderly people there are no carers to come was difficult and painful.
I fed back to management several times and one day I went top management and was told that Individual solutions SK provides high quality care and if you go to your MP we will deal with you. After I attempted to expose bad practice at Individual Solutions SK providing care for vulnerable adults and the elderly, I have been subjected to continued harassment and abuse that persists today. I even attempted to get the GMB Trade Union involved so that I could have someone fighting my corner, but they refused to support me.
I turned to Manchester’s Employment Tribunal for help, in the hope that malpractice would be exposed. I soon discovered that I was mistaken. The current laws do not protect vulnerable adults, elderly people and whistleblowers like me. Manchester’s tribunal ruled in favour of Stockport Council and Individual Solutions SK, disregarding much of the documented evidence in support of my case.
A witness who had travelled 200 miles to give evidence was not allowed to speak to the tribunal.
Many whistleblowers are threatened with cost orders, leading to the withdrawal of cases. I have been ordered to pay £5,000 in costs, for more details https://olesi.com/cost-order/
Vulnerable adults and the elderly people are dependent on us. These are special people who have families, relatives and friends. It bothered me when services were not provided or where they were provided, were poor or short of a duty of care. I want to help vulnerable adults and the elderly receive the care they deserve.
I believe they deserve to be happy, be visited by regular home support workers and receive consistent, high quality care. This should not be lost to a culture that promotes targets and greed over compassion and care. Sadly, my case is not an isolated incident.
There are countless occasions where someone is bullied into silence when they discover corrupt or unfair practices, meaning the guilty go unpunished . I turn to you for assistance in tightening the law so that justice may be served and the vulnerable protected.
I ask that:
you introduce specific laws aimed at protecting whistleblowers and setting out specific standards of care for vulnerable adults and the elderly so that standards may be maintained
re-examine the Care Quality Commission (CQC) under The Care Act 2014, CQC do not have the remit to regulate Councils or their Social Services departments.
you allow documentation to be considered in such an enquiry and tighten the laws so that verbal bad faith evidence is not given priority over written documentation evidence
extend the right to appeal. I have been told that I could not appeal the facts found by the employment tribunal. However, since these facts do not reflect the documented evidence, individuals should be allowed to dispute facts when errors can be proven
re-examine the business criteria for acceptance of cases by the equality and human rights commission • those responsible for covering up malpractice, whether it be management, trade unions or anyone else, should be held accountable in a criminal court
tighten the laws around bullying and harassment at work
establish specific whistleblowing courts, with a focus on improving services and learning lessons from mistakes made
For these reasons, I hope you’ll join me in urging Prime Minister Theresa May change the law to support whistleblowers when they draw attention to areas of concern so that we can improve the care received by vulnerable adults and the elderly.