Shocked that you can get sent to jail for shouting at someone, calling them names and slapping them. Shocked because they have done the same, witnessed others do it, and worse, shocked because they don’t consider themselves bad people.

Are we really shocked that such totally unsuitable people are appointed to care for adults with learning disabilities? Are we shocked that unqualified, partially trained, inadequately supervised staff develop their own ways of controlling people? Are we shocked that staff work long shifts with minimum staffing levels? Are we shocked that a small group of individuals can come to dominate and control the staff room? Are we shocked that people choose to stay quiet rather than report what’s going on?

Are we surprised that people with a learning disability are unable to say what’s happening to them? Are we surprised that when they do they are not believed or are considered unreliable witnesses? Are we surprised that those who are bullied, ill treated and abuse may in fear and anger lash out or be uncooperative? Are we surprised that people placed a long way from home have fewer visitors and therefore fewer people to speak up for them? Are we surprised that inspection visits don’t catch staff abusing residents/patients?

Are we upset to see people treated so cruelly? Has this type of abuse happened before? So we are shocked but not surprised.

Blair McPherson author of UnLearning management published by Russell House. Follow Blair on Twitter @blairmcpherson1