Book review: When the Unacceptable Becomes the Norm

This book should be read by all care home nurses who deliver services in an abusive manner.

When the Unacceptable Becomes the Norm: Choosing a Care Home in the 21st Century

When the Unacceptable Becomes the Norm

Bill Lawrence | Matador | £9.99 | 288pp | ISBN: 9781788036962


This is an account of the care the author’s mother received in a care home, and how he and his family fought over many years to ensure standards were upheld.

Astute observations are made of the poor leadership and culture in the care home, while the involvement and responses of the regulators and local authority safeguarding team are also detailed.

The writing is dense and, as a result, some of the book’s suggestions for people looking for a care home and for care leaders who want to set up a ‘mystery shopper’ system to uphold quality may become lost.

The title, and the assertion that all care homes are like this one, will cause unease. But this must not detract from the importance of a book, which expresses the pain, frustration and anguish of a family well.

For those who offer good quality care, the book could be a useful aid for training, education and quality assurance.

The nurses who should read and reflect on it are those who deliver services in an abusive manner; sadly, however, they are neither likely to buy it nor recognise themselves in the text.

Reviews by Lynne Phair, independent nurse consultant, adult safeguarding and older people

This article is for subscribers only