Social care chief blames system for 'turning good people into bad carers'

Credit: PA

The chief inspector of adult social care has blamed the 'broken system' for turning good people into bad carers.

Andrea Sutcliffe told The Observer huge funding cuts had left some carers feeling overworked, underpaid and demoralised.

Figures obtained by the paper show there were 30,000 allegations of abuse in the first six months of this year, ranging from sexual abuse to financial fraud.

And the paper states that since 2011, the rate at which allegations of abuse are made has doubled.

The Department of Health said that cases of abuse are completely unacceptable and they are working to "stamp them out".

Sutcliffe said 'stress and strain' carers are under is putting patients at risk. Credit: PA

Ms Sutcliffe said an aging population and people needing more complex care were two of the factors putting strain on the system and on carers themselves.

That potentially means that they may leave, and we do see turnover, but it also may mean that they end up being the sort of care worker that you wouldn't want them to be because the system around them isn't supportive. The social care sector is certainly under stress and strain. And that is a combination of all sorts of factors - the increased numbers of people who need care and support, the increased complexity of their needs.

Andrea Sutcliffe

Since 2010, adult social care budgets have been cut by £4.6 billion according to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "Abuse and neglect are completely unacceptable at all times, and whatever the cause, we are determined to stamp them out.

"The CQC's new tougher inspection regime will also help to make sure that if abuse does occur, it's caught quickly and dealt with."