Handicapped still not receiving good care: report

Care homes for the mentally handicapped are still not achieving minimum levels of care, a report by healthcare inspectors shows.

The inspectors made unannounced visits to 44 care homes over the past six months. The results formed the basis of a report in news programme Nieuwsuur on Monday evening.

Of the homes visited, 64% did not reach the expected minimum level of care. A further 9% partly achieved the minimum level and 27% were rated acceptable.

The last time inspectors made visits, in 2007, 42% failed, 42% partly failed and 16% were rated acceptable. Nieuwsuur reported.

The inspectors rated the homes for safety, use of restraints and the quality of the staff and management.


The report says nearly 60% of the homes are cavalier in the use of restraints such as locking people in their room or tying them down. These methods are used too frequently and staff often do not know the rules for their use, Nieuwuur reported.

Last year, legislation was introduced to limit the use of restraints except as a last resort. But 10% of the homes inspected still tie down difficult mentally handicapped people, the programme said. In three homes, people are still being locked up against their will, something which is only permissible where someone has been sectioned.


When it comes to care home staff, the quality of workers and management is unacceptable in 10% of the homes inspected. Increasingly, less well-educated workers are being employed in order to keep to shrinking budgets.

Nieuwsuur made its report following the death in March 2012 of a mentally handicapped woman at the Novo home in Groningen, who was forced into a holding room and held face down on the floor by four workers until she calmed down. The woman died shortly afterwards.




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