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Care Inspectorate report highlights the dramatic impact of the pandemic on the care sector

A report released today from the Inspectorate of social care and childcare services in Wales, highlights the impact of the pandemic on the care sector. Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) has published its Chief Inspector’s annual report for 2020-2021, acknowledging and paying tribute to the social care and childcare workforce in Wales for their dedication in caring for people in the most difficult and challenging of circumstances.

The report also emphasises the changes implemented by the Inspectorate, adapting inspection processes to continue to provide assurance on the quality of care in Wales, whilst having to protect people by reducing the number of times they physically entered care provider premises. With the aid of virtual technology and online services, CIW worked flexibly and productively in order to reduce the burden on the sector.

Collaborating with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW), the two organisations undertook a campaign encouraging staff working in social care and childcare services to “speak up” about excellent care provided, but also about care that does not meet the required standard. Where CIW found examples of poor care they took action, however the report illustrates the vast majority of care services were delivering dedicated, compassionate and selfless care, supported by strong management and leadership.

Today’s report also includes a summary of the findings of the inquests of people who died relating to Operation Jasmine, a historic inquiry by Gwent Police into allegations of neglect at a number of nursing homes in South East Wales from 2005 to 2013. The report highlights the lessons learnt by the Inspectorate: ‘Operation Jasmine inquests shone a light on the impact poor leadership and management has on the culture of an organisation and how this in turn affects the safety and well-being of people receiving a service. A negative culture in Brithdir care home created the environment in which the neglect, abuse and breaches of people’s human rights occurred.’

Following Operation Jasmine, significant changes were made to social care services and regulation in Wales as well as to how the regulator operates.

Publishing her annual report Gillian Baranski, Chief Inspector of Care Inspectorate Wales said:

‘I want to acknowledge and pay tribute to the social care and childcare and play workforce in Wales for their dedication in caring for people, and their hard work tackling the many challenges they faced. I have been humbled by their courage, innovation and resilience. This has been an incredibly difficult year but it has also been a time of inspiration and an opportunity to reflect and learn lessons.

Putting people at the heart of what we do has long been our central premise and never has this felt more important. It is encouraging there is now wide public recognition of the importance and value of social care. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety and quality of the services we regulate and inspect to help protect the most vulnerable people in our society.’