22/01/2014 The Wales Report


The Wales Report with Huw Edwards looks at claims that a lack of regulation and training for care workers is putting vulnerable people at risk.

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Tonight on the Wales Report... Is there a crisis brewing in the


care sector? The Welsh government is urged to bring much tougher


regulation of home care workers. We talk about income tax. And we ask


what powers are needed to boost the Welsh economy?


And the challenge of keeping Welsh politics in the headlines. But is


more media coverage the same as more scrutiny? Stay with us for the Wales


Report. Good evening, welcome to the Wales


Report, where we take a look at the issues making an impact on lives in


Wales. And we question some of those making the decisions.


On tonight's programme, vulnerable adults who receive home care in


Wales are potentially being put at risk by a lack of regulation and


inconsistent standards of training. That is according to a leading Welsh


charity. The vast majority, over 94% of professional care workers in


Wales, are not registered with a regulating body. And they currently


don't need any formal qualifications. Many in the sector,


including qualifications. Many in the sector,


the way, say change Every day, tens of thousands of


vulnerable people across Wales relied on paid carers to come into


their homes. They may be elderly or disabled and need assistance with


vital tasks like taking medication, and sometimes that carer will be


their only contact with the outside world. So how do we know whether our


home carers at up to the task? The Ansett is we don't. Some workers do


not need to have altercations and don't have to be registered with the


regulator. The Wales Report has been contacted by a carer who is deeply


worried about the situation. She wants to remain anonymous, but in


e-mails still does that when she first darted as a carer she had very


little training, despite having no previous experience. Training took


place over eight weeks and was unpaid. Then there was a period of


shadowing, going out with an experienced carer watching care put


in practice, but only as good as the person you are shadowing all stop


then you got your order and out you went. The lack of qualifications


means most workers only in the minimum wage, and some only paid for


the time the hard-working, not travelling between appointments, so


moral is low, and there is a high turnover of staff. Sickness rates


were very high, adding more pressure to the carers, as they had to take


on the calls, staff leaving weekly, and a newly inducted member of staff


lasted half a day in one company. According to a survey by the union


Unison, that of -- who pay and conditions is having a shocking


effect on the work horse and on care.


The workers are undervalued, with no constituency with regard to


training, or expectations when they are in the client's home, and


unfortunately, all of the conditions could lead to a real crisis, a real


high profile problem arising in the future. Currently, the only legal


high profile problem arising in the requirement is that home carers must


be checked to see if they have requirement is that home carers must


criminal record, and must be given requirement is that home carers must


basic induction. It is the responsibility of the key


inspectorate responsibility of the key


carry those out. But is that happening? The Wales Report has


found that the inspectorate does not always ensure those checks have been


done. Of the 50 home care reports we looked at on their websites, 28 did


not look into staff records at all. That is because the inspectorate


only check the fools that records every three years. The Czechs in


between those do not have to be comprehensive. Charities working


with honourable people are concerned that is not enough scrutiny. The


system is not robust enough at the moment. The regulator has a job to


do. We are very concerned that vulnerable people being provided


care in their own homes might not be getting the level of protection


deserve. That is why the UK home care Association would welcome


statutory regulation for all care workers, leaving it would help


monitor records. People must be sure the key worker coming into their


home is trustworthy, has all the necessary checks and is absolutely


skill for the intimate personal care B may be delivering. The Welsh


Government has no recognised the current system is not fully


protecting vulnerable people in their homes. It wants to bring in a


new law that would change the inspection and regulation regimes


here in Wales. Under the plans, a new body would be set up, called the


National Institute for air and support, and that, the government


argues, would improve all aspects of care. But there are criticisms that


the proposals do not go far enough. Controversially, there is no plan to


register all home care workers. The we would welcome that registration,


although that would bring a high level of bureaucracy. But we do not


believe vulnerable people should be put at risk and every risk possible


should be mitigated with registration and universal


registration would be the best way forward. And the carers themselves


would like their role to be seen as more professional, recognising their


vulnerable work. Each call presents a whole different set of needs, very


diverse needs, for the most honourable client group, they rely


on you totally and quite often you are the only person they may see.


Many believe unless real changes are made to home care, and June, in


future the potential for problems will be huge. -- and soon. If the


situation continues, we will go from will be huge. -- and soon. If the


one crisis to the next. The vulnerable people will not get the


one crisis to the next. The services needed and deserved. There


could be disasters ahead. Personal disasters. On the


receiving this care. Helen Callaghan reporting. Joining


me now is the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Labour's Gwenda


Thomas. Thank you for coming in. My pleasure. One thing to say


straightaway, lots of carers delivering a very good service.


Yes. Before we discuss potential problems. Shouldn't every key worker


bee registered? When you are talking about a workforce of over 70,000,


and we have ended consultation on the new White Paper on registration


and inspection, I am analysing those responses at the moment. And I have


to make the point that, in Wales at the moment, we are registering more


workers than we have ever done before. This is a step-by-step


approach. The principle that anyone going into someone's home,


especially vulnerable people, should be registered so we are safeguarding


not just standard but the person cared for. That principle is surely


one you would agree with? And it is the utmost priority for the Welsh


Government that the safety and dignity of people receiving care is


the most priority to us. When you talk about raises during the whole


work force, the film made the point that, since last month, it is a


requirement or home care managers to be registered, and when you look at


other countries, Wales is taking vast steps towards registration, and


it is fundamentally important for us to realise that the establishment of


the Institute of care and support will be a huge step forward and the


code of this principle will be developing training and building on


the excellent work of the care Council, which has gone on in recent


years, developing excellent training and creating career pathways. When


you talk about the vulnerability of people cared for, often at home, and


the carer is the only person they will see, they are dependent on that


person. Again coming back to the points of confidence and trust in


the system, how can they have full confidence they aren't being


protected if we don't have the kind of registration that is being called


for? We are considering a response, but this is a huge workforce. A


workforce that sometimes moves quickly, and people working for


three months then moving on. Is that quickly, and people working for


part of the problem, such a big turnover that the bureaucracy puts


part of the problem, such a big registration process? -- fool


registration process? No not putting as of, but we have to look at this


in a sensible way. We are registering more than many other


countries, but I will take seriously all responses to the report, and


underpinning this, I think it is the utmost importance of developing,


valuing, because I do not think the social workers and social care


workers are valued enough within our society, recessional lies that work


force and develop the training and that is taking forward, and we have


invested tens of millions over the last few years in training, and that


extends right across the public, private and voluntary sector. And we


will want to identify senior people to have a responsibility in law for


the workforce that they are employing, and that they do employ a


proportion of that work force who are qualified to our required level.


That brings me to the final point about qualification, and perceptions


of, I suppose, education of the workforce, because so many are


earning very little money, minimum wage, and there are clearly problems


of commitment in the sense people feel they have to move on, not happy


with the conditions they have, and lots not having qualifications. A


matter of bringing up standards in lots of areas? Indeed, and we are


well on the way to do that, and we have to professionalise the


workforce in order to value it and improve services and the quality of


provision. Bank you for coming in. -- thank you.


Back in November, Prime Minister David Cameron and his Deputy Nick


Clegg came to Cardiff to unveil their proposals for new financial


powers for the Welsh Government. They included powers to set income


tax, if the people of Wales approved them in a referendum. The secretary


of Wales, David Jones, has welcomed the move calling for the ballot to


be held sooner rather than later. He said it will make the Welsh


Government more accountable. Income tax powers, and the more favourable


income tax rate in Wales, will be good for the Welsh economy.


First Minister Carwyn Jones has described the new powers on offer.


As pretty useless. This is what he had to say to the Welsh Affairs


Select Committee on Monday. I am somebody who I suspected regarded as


fairly strong with regard to the devolution of powers, but on this


issue, I cannot make a case for Wales that would demonstrate


evolution of this model of income tax varying powers, without there


being reform of the funding system, would be something


being reform of the funding system, net benefit. Joining


being reform of the funding system, economist and Welsh Government


advisor Gerald Holtham. Thank you for coming in. Let us talk


advisor Gerald Holtham. Thank you are the useless currently? Very


difficult to use. -- to vary them. In the present-day, politicians


binding from tax difficult. Look at the Scots, never using the powers


they have add. And when have we last had an increase in income tax? When


Gordon Brown removed the 10p, tremendous furore. It is a difficult


power to use at the best of times. And if you want the government to


use it, both up and down, you need as much like stability. The


arrangement being proposed here is very rigid, and that will ensure it


is never used. When we talk about a lockstep system, what is meant by


that? Normally there are three bans for income tax. Rahm 10p up to


30,000, in 40p up to 150000 and then above that you pay ?45. A government


can normally change the marginal rate for each of those bands


separately. The way the Welsh power is being devolved is like this. 10p


is going to the Welsh Government and the rest is going to the UK


government. If the Welsh Government changes its rate, everybody's rate


changes. So the person who is paying 45p then 10p is going to Wells. If


the Welsh Government changes to 8% then everybody's marginal tax rate


goes down. What is the logic? Because the argument that has been


made with as much charity I can assemble, is complete nonsense. They


want to preserve the progress of the system, how much it redistributed


between income groups, for the centre. Westminster. The reason that


does not make sense is that this system does not do that. Are likely


to ever see a referendum on these particular proposals? I think it is


quite unlikely as things stand. It is very easy to lose this


referendum. If you say to people that they need power to change taxes


than the initial reaction will be, "do I want to do that?" Hodges and


are not any more popular in Wales than anywhere else. We never know


whether a referendum will be on the issue or whether we like the


politicians. They are taking a big risk. And for what? For a power that


there are unlikely to be able to use. And Observer who would maybe


take on board what you were saying would also come back and say that it


is very odd for politicians, or stakeholders involved in this


process, not to want more stakeholders involved in this


even of the powers are not stakeholders involved in this


would like them, or not set out in the way they would like. Actually,


would like them, or not set out in the natural thing for you to want


would be to have more powers in order to realise your own policies.


Is that not right? I think if you would say to Welsh politicians that


they could have these powers then they would not refuse them. They


might never use them but at least they would be on the shelf, as it


were. But you are asking them to fight a referendum for them. I think


that is the point. It is not just theoretical. Somebody has to go and


knock on the door and ask people to vote. One of the problems in Wales


is that we are having referendum is not on big issues of principle but


on fairly technical matters. Nobody's tax is going up as a result


of the referendum but it is being organised in a different way,


different people can live it. You have to explain lockstep. You will


probably get a turnout of 20%, as we did for the last referendum, which


was about whether you have powers to legislate on 30 do is use with 14


exemptions. -- 32 issues. It is a bad and able to get into that we


have these very detailed referendum instead of the question of whether


we want a parliament with powers. We are doing these very detailed things


and I think the politicians are getting a bit punch-drunk. All of


this, in the wider context of how you improve the wider economy -- the


Welsh economy. How do you boost the Welsh economy? 7.1% unemployment in


the UK, 7.2 in Wales. The picture has been improving in many parts of


the country. Thinking in terms of what Wales needs, not just tax


powers but other economic powers, how would you explain the picture?


There is no quick fix, really. There are two things that the Welsh


Government needs to focus on. The first is education and training. The


great Irish success, before their disaster in 2007, was really based


on a huge investment in education, much higher proportion of Irish kids


get to tertiary kids than the UK, certainly than Wales. -- treachery


education. Our standards are slipping behind the UK and the best


places in Europe. We have turned that around. If you're going to get


technical businesses here, large businesses wanting to establish,


they want a trained workforce. That is the first thing we have to do.


That is a long job, not a six-month effort. It is a 60 year effort. The


second thing is infrastructure. If we wanted to be able to move people


and goods around and our infrastructure is not great, we do


not have a very late topography, all those mountains. We have to improve


that. -- a very friendly topography. There is a programme needed of


investment to put the country in a better position. Is the Welsh


Government engaged in putting together a programme to answer those


things? It has started to put together an infrastructure plan,


which if that were to come to fruition would be a step forward.


There is certainly a big focus on education now. I do


There is certainly a big focus on they're going to succeed in turning


the corner but these people are talking about it.


the corner but these people are very much for coming in.


the corner but these people are Do Welsh politicians get the


scrutiny they, and the voters, deserve? The Assembly's Presiding


Officer, Rosemary Butler, believes the decline of the newspaper


industry in Wales and the dominance of London- based media has led to


fewer people being engaged in Welsh political life. And she's not alone


in that view. But with fewer resources in many news


organisations, how realistic is it to demand more coverage? Professor


Richard Sambrook of Cardiff University School of Journalism, a


former head of BBC Global News, presents his own report on the


prospects. Its wheels talking about Wales


enough? The lack of media coverage and scrutiny of the Welsh Government


is a talk topic that has been talked about -- a topic that has been


talked about many times, usually in the same newspapers and TV


programmes stop because the coverage of the UK government. How many times


have you seen Carwyn Jones on the pages of those same newspapers? Here


at Cardiff University, we try to teach student journalists the


importance of default government and holding politicians to account but


there are not many good examples for them to learn from. Welsh media is


back in the spotlight, thanks to Rosemary Butler. Gone will be the


days of confusing Michael Gove's policies with Hugh Lewis, she wants


the people of Wales to have plenty of sources of news about Wales to


choose from. So how exactly are they proposing to do this? One suggestion


is a journalism hub in the Senedd, working with hyper local media and


digital organisations to provide content for new digital channels.


Others include better communication facilities at The Senedd, making the


data more accessible and ensuring that people are treating enough and


helping to train them journalists of the future in the way The Senedd


works. All very good but there is a problem here. Pushing information


out is just PR. It is not the same as asking the awkward questions and


holding politicians to account. That in the new journalism hub in the


Senedd, will the journals of the future be encouraged to challenge


what they see and hear will be simply become mouthpieces? These


plans are just a starting point and will be developed. I cannot help


thinking they're coming from wrong direction. It should be ours, the


public, whose lives are affected by the decisions taken in the Assembly,


public, whose lives are affected by it is ours who should be pushing for


more hard-nosed, independent reporting. We care about schools,


more hard-nosed, independent communities, hospitals. It


more hard-nosed, independent we started to care about how


more hard-nosed, independent being made. It


more hard-nosed, independent looking for high-quality


more hard-nosed, independent decision-makers coming from many


different sources. In many ways, we get the media we deserve. But as the


Welsh Government gets greater powers, so should be made more


accountable. It is time to get wheels on the front page.


Joining me now from our Assembly newsroom is the Deputy Presiding


Officer, Conservative David Melding. Thank you for joining us. I am going


to pick up on the point that he was making there. Is he right to say


that the public gets the media it deserves? I think we all have a part


to play in the political process. Those that analyse it, those that


have to engage with the public. I suppose public engagement itself. We


want to encourage people to tell us what they think and ensure that they


can participate openly. Distil the democratic deficit that we have in


the modern age, with moderately medications, and very fast legs were


people cannot quite spend the time they would have in the past in


listening to long broadcasts, I think this is all part of the next


we need. Do you think the median Wales, broadcast and oppressed, is


at fault? I think there are lots of things that we need to do to catch


up with the technology we have had in communications. The fact that we


are enjoying, or going through, a period that is like the late 19th


century, when Mars newspapers started. That -- when newspapers


started. That changed the way politics was done and we moved to


universal suffrage and the participation in a formal way. Now


we are seeing those old patter and documentation breakdown and new ones


opening up. Engaging the public is much more difficult now that there


are many other things that people want to get involved with. Is your


colleagues right in saying that there is a democratic deficit when


it comes to media scrutiny and that that is partly, as she puts it, the


media's fault for not taking an interest in what you are doing in


Cardiff? I think what we have seen is that wherever is the control in


Wales, decisions are made, then we are seeing excellent quality


broadcasting and writing. But there is a difficulty, I think, when the


number of journalists is reduced. We do not so specialist political


journalists here in the. I have to say the BBC has made some decisions


in the last year but political reporting and the extent of news


coverage in Wales. We still have high quality but there is a real


deficit in the UK level. A lot of what we do is not fully reflected in


the output, particularly, I think, with the newspapers. But the


broadcasters could improve also. A lot of progress has been made,


particularly with the BBC. We go back to that question, one


politician said at the other day devolved administrations, why would


someone living in York, for example, devolved administrations, why would


be interested in what is devolved administrations, why would


in Cardiff? I think it is relevant when we are making a decision in


Cardiff that could set a new precedent. You had this with organ


donation, for instance. There was a shift in policy. It was seen to be


very medical in the UK. -- very radical. That clearly could impact


people's lives in England and Scotland, if their governments


followed suit. I think it is that sort of test. Do we get top coverage


then? That is kind of the measure that we need to apply to stop -- do


we get proper coverage then? We have other examples of debates we have


lit. Although we have had a fair coverage, perhaps not always the


level we have deserved. A little more than scrutiny. Wouldn't be fair


to say that in order that openness to be there, for the scrutiny to be


efficient, ministers also have to be available and willing to be


questioned. There are instances, certainly that I know of in Welsh


Government, where ministers maybe are not as available as they might


be. What would you say about that? I put my dignity Presiding Officer's


hat on and say that we sometimes have to be very firm with the stars


about Wendy -- with ministers about when and where they make statements


and we want them to be available to be questioned in the Assembly. Their


lives are demanding. They cannot say yes to every request but there is an


issue in being available to the main broadcasters and news outlets. There


should be effective fumigation. That is an important heart of scrutiny.


How many people can watch first Minister 's questions? But how many


people will listen to a news bulletin on the BBC in the morning?


I think ministers will be aware of that. Finally, the importance of


this, we are moving into a period were clearly election is on the


horizon, we are talking about important things like tax varying


powers, for example. That process of engagement by voters is even more


important than it has been before. It certainly is. I think the


effective devolution becomes and the greater range of subjects that are


devolved, there is a clear logic in doing as much locally and nationally


in Wales, Scotland and England at some point as possible. It is very


important if we are going to see big decisions being taken on taxation


and perhaps to model the Welsh economy, to make it more attractive


than, say, the south east of England, if we want to attract


people into Wales that currently are in an overcrowded economic region


like London on the south east, we have to engage with people to tell


them why it is necessary, perhaps, to make some of the decisions we


need to be making that initially to make some of the decisions we


might surprise people, if looking at really interesting


innovative policy options. looking at really interesting


thank you for joining us. My pleasure.


That's it for this week's programme. pleasure.


We'll be back next Wednesday. In the meantime, you can get in touch with


us about the issues discussed tonight, or indeed anything else.


Email us at [email protected] and we are on Twitter. Thanks for


watching. Good night. Nos da.


Huw Edwards asks the questions that matter to you about your job, your health, your future. Confronting decision makers with the consequences of their choices and each week Helen Callaghan will be investigating the reality of living in modern Wales.

Does a lack of regulation and training for care workers put vulnerable people at risk?

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