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Care providers – how would you respond if your staff abused service users?

9 June 2011

Castlebeck have issued a very fast response to the BBC Panorama programme based on secret filming within one of its facilities.

It’s a sensible response. They need to protect their business, and service users’ families need to be reassured that their loved ones are safe.

It also means that any civil claims for compensation will be flushed out sooner rather than later. Employers are vicariously liable for the abusive actions of health and care staff, no matter how rigorous the recruitment and monitoring procedures. Most personal injury cases have to be brought within 3 years of the incident in question but in cases involving claimants with learning difficulties, the 3 year time limit does not apply.

If you find yourself suspending staff members for the mistreatment of service users, compile a list of people with whom they have come into contact, so you know how many claims may follow and inform your insurers of any intended public announcements, as these will attract compensation claims.

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