Organisational abuse

Organisational, institutional, or service level abuse or neglect may  occur within an institution, such as a hospital or care home. It may also happen through someone providing care from a service within a private home. 

The abuse may range from one off incidents to ongoing ill-treatment.

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

Warning signs may include:

  • no flexibility or choice for people using the service
  • inadequate staffing levels
  • patients left hungry or dehydrated
  • poor standards of care
  • lack of personal clothing and possessions for patients 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 oversight and support

More information

See our organisational abuse protocol to help you identify the warning signs and risks of organisational abuse, and how to formally report it.