Having worked for a provider of health and social care services for adults with mental health conditions, learning disabilities, and dementia, I understand the pressures of selecting and recruiting the right people, with the right skills to deliver high standards of quality care, and with robust practices and clearly defined performance standards in place it is very effective.
It is critical to have employees that actively demonstrate the values and behaviours essential for these specialist roles - who are led and performance managed effectively.
It is well researched that where employers recognise, value, and engage with employees, performance and service improves. It is critical, for the protection and safeguarding of individuals with disabilities, that care programmes are bespoke; provided by the right people with the right skills, in an environment that treats people with respect and dignity.
It is also important that there is appropriate well-being practices in place to support employees in these challenging roles (who may also be experiencing stresses at home) - before they derail.
The latest report, titled Time For Change - The Challenge Ahead, says some 3,500 vulnerable disabled people are still in institutions - 30%, or 900, more than had been thought. It suggests that supporting people in their own community will require 10,000 extra staff, who will need to be trained to an established standard. Sir Stephen said: "Just as a children's commissioner was established following the Victoria Climbie Inquiry, there is a firm argument for establishing this post. "It would have a statutory duty to promote and protect the rights of all people with learning disabilities and their families." With at least 1,300 people expected to move out of hospital care by 2019, the report also says there is a "critical need" to develop housing for vulnerable people who, Sir Stephen says, should be exempt from proposed housing benefit caps.