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Sex workers in care homes and CQC compliance
Council investigating despite denial by chief executive
The story of carers organising sex workers for disabled residents at The Chaseley Trust care home broke last week. Chaseley is an ex-military nursing home in Eastbourne which now houses a mix of residents whose places are funded by private arrangements or by social services. Amid denials by the chief executive of Chaseley that such a practice takes place, the local council is to examine the claims under East Sussex’s multi-agency safeguarding procedures.
Chailey Heritage Foundation, a specialist support organisation for those with complex physical disabilities, works with the Sexual Health and Disability Alliance, a national group that campaign for disabled people to be allowed access to sex workers. Denise Banks, director of social care provision at Chailey Heritage Foundation revealed the foundation had contacted Chaseley to help develop a policy where prostitutes could be found for residents if needed.
A spokesman for the Care Quality Commission said that where a care need was identified, appropriate safeguards would need to be in place to protect against the risk of abuse.
Best interests of service users and safety of care workers
Although this story which centres on disclosures by a former manager at Chaseley raises wider moral, ethical and legal issues, there are some fundamental considerations for care service providers.
For registered managers this creates something of a minefield which requires careful navigation. Three key factors to which govern the best interests of service users and the safety of care workers are:
- Promoting the protection of Human Rights
- Preventing care workers from molestation
- Protecting vulnerable disabled people from exposure to risk
Navigate the minefield with QCS compliance management
QCS compliance management enables those dealing with awkward situations in this area to make decisions that are in line with CQC compliance guidance. The system provides:
- A sex and sexuality policy, which promotes individual care planning of sexual needs
- An employee’s handbook which sets out:
- "Fulfilment of aspirations: To have their social, emotional, spiritual, cultural, political and sexual needs accepted and respected. Service Users will be enabled to achieve their potential physical, intellectual, emotional and social capacity. Individuals will be given support and freedom to realise personal aspirations and abilities in all respects of daily life.”
- A standard care objective designed to cover this area without being explicit:
- “Recognise the individual need for personal fulfilment and offer individualised programmes of meaningful activity to satisfy that need of Service Users and staff.”