So now Orchid View can enter the social care vocabulary along with Winterbourne View and the many others dating back to the inception of the welfare state and before. Each time a new recipe for effective regulation and monitoring is prepared. Of course regulation is important along with all the other components of a mature social care system: training, leadership, responsiveness to carers and so on. At the same time we need to look at what it is that allows people who, on the face of it, start out well-intentioned to behave so inhumanely towards those who rely on them. Social psychology has repeatedly demonstrated how people’s personal values can be easily undermined by the pressure to conform or comply with authority. There are other ‘dynamics’ in social care settings that lead people to act with disdain, detachment and, to some extent, denial. Our training and briefings for staff need to help them to recognise the circumstances in which they may feel under pressure to compromise their beliefs and what they know to be right .. and get drawn into a culture of depersonalisation and abuse.
[Footnote .. and another waiting for admission to the Hall of Shame: Veilstone]