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Institutional Abuse

Institutional abuse is abuse which arises from an unsatisfactory regime. It occurs when the routines, systems and norms of an institution override the needs of those it is there to support. Such regimes compel individuals to sacrifice their own preferred life style and cultural diversity in favour of the interests of those there to support them, and others. This can be the product of both ineffectual and punitive management styles, creating a climate within which abuse, intentional or otherwise, can be perpetrated by individual staff and others.

Managers and staff have a responsibility to ensure that the operation of the service is focussed on the needs of service users, not on those of the institution. Managers will ensure they have mechanisms in place that both maintain and review the appropriateness, quality and impact of the service for which they are responsible. These mechanisms will always take into account the views of service users, their carers and relatives.


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