Institutional neglect and poor practice

Organisational abuse – includes

  • neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home,
  • or in relation to care provided in one’s own home.

This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment.

It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.

Types of organisational abuse can include:

  • Discouraging visits or the involvement of relatives or friends
  • Run-down or overcrowded establishment
  • Authoritarian management or rigid regimes
  • Lack of leadership and supervision
  • Insufficient staff or high turnover resulting in poor quality care
  • Abusive and disrespectful attitudes towards people using the service
  • Inappropriate use of restraints
  • Lack of respect for dignity and privacy
  • Failure to manage residents with abusive behaviour
  • Not providing adequate food and drink, or assistance with eating
  • Not offering choice or promoting independence
  • Misuse of medication
  • Failure to provide care with dentures, spectacles or hearing aids
  • Not taking account of individuals’ cultural, religious or ethnic needs
  • Failure to respond to abuse appropriately
  • Interference with personal correspondence or communication
  • Failure to respond to complaints

Signs of this type of abuse include:

  • Lack of flexibility and choice for people using the service
  • Inadequate staffing levels
  • People being hungry or dehydrated
  • Poor standards of care
  • Lack of personal clothing and possessions and communal use of personal items
  • Lack of adequate procedures
  • Poor record-keeping and missing documents
  • Absence of visitors
  • Few social, recreational and educational activities
  • Public discussion of personal matters
  • Unnecessary exposure during bathing or using the toilet
  • Absence of individual care plans
  • Lack of management overview and support

The WSAB, in partnership with our Carers Reference group, which is supported by Worcestershire Association of Carers (WAC),  have produced the leaflet below to help people with care and support needs and their relatives and carers to consider whether an incident they have witnessed should be raised as a safeguarding concern or a quality issue, and how to report it.

Link to WSAB Demystifying Safeguarding Leaflet V2  ACCESSIBLE

Link to WSAB Demystifying Safeguarding Leaflet V2