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Caring for the carers

December 2013 | by Louise Morse

Anyone thinking of finding a good care home for grandma must be having second thoughts after the latest horror stories. In one care home, 19 elderly people are said to have died as a result of neglect and abuse.

      Reactions have included government talk of tightening regulations, employing ‘mystery shoppers’ and even using hidden cameras to spy on carers. However, these are all after-the-event solutions that do nothing to prevent abuse happening in the first place.

      Only a few voices have mentioned one significant contributory factor: that for people to care well for others, they have to be cared for themselves. Employers have to invest in the training, support and development of carers. Those that do it well can gain Investor in People (IiP) status.

      Christian charity, Pilgrims’ Friend Society (PFS) has held IiP status for 13 years, and in October this year passed its latest assessment with flying colours.

      The IiP assessor noted, ‘Even through some challenging times the Society has retained its ethos of investing in its people. It was good to hear about some new and improved approaches to leading, managing and developing people that have a good fit with the Investors in People Standard’.

      The assessor also said the visits made to various homes and schemes were ‘enjoyable’, adding, ‘I was impressed by the sense of community and shared purpose that pervades people’s daily work within the Society’.

      Phil Wainright, director of human resources, said, ‘The main thrust of the assessment these days is looking at what results it actually has on the ground. We are not saying that we are perfect, but we are saying that we care for our staff and, in turn, they care for our residents’.

      PFS incorporates Pilgrim Homes, which was first known as ‘The Aged Pilgrims’ Friend Society’, when it was founded in 1807.

       Its first care home was built in 1835, and its latest developments include retirement housing near the coast in Essex, and Pilgrim Gardens in Leicester, next to the 44-acre Evington Park. (More information:

Louise Morse


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