Former care minister calls for open-book accounting in care homes

On today’s You and Yours, on BBC Radio 4, Paul Burstow the former care minister called – amongst other things –  for much greater transparency in the finances of care homes.

In particular, he called for open-book accounting so that residents and local authorities can know how their money is being spent and to understand the costs of providing housing with care. 

Care provision is going to be a growing cost for an ageing society and there have already been many abuses of the system. Underpaid and exploited workers have sometimes resorted to inflicting appalling cruelty on vulnerable residents. They have rightly been punished when found, but the problem is the lack of resources and a more serious problem of financial engineering which ultimately led to the collapse of the Southern Cross chain of homes a year or two ago. 

Of course, I’m delighted that any politician should be calling for open-book accounting in any sector, but it shouldn’t just be care homes. 

Politicians’ expenses, perhaps? Election expenses? Everything the government does on our behalf or with our money should be subject to full open-book accounting. 

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