‘Secret’ bonus scheme at nursing homes revealed

'Secret' bonus scheme at nursing homes revealed
Swedish health care provider Carema has received another blow as a "secret" bonus program for managers was revealed just days after staff told how high-savings initiatives have led to neglect of the elderly in their care.

The bonus programs reportedly reward managers of elderly care facilities who keep tight control on their division’s economy and perform under budget, according to Swedish Television (SVT) documentary, Dokument inifrån, which airs Sunday evening.

An anonymous director described how departments are pitted against each other in competition.

The managers who maintain the best budgets receive one or more months’ salary in bonuses, according to reports by daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

“The bonus is something you talk quietly about and is not spread about within the company or to the public,” the manager told SVT.

In addition, the documentary episode reveals that a large number of managers are also enticed to become shareholders in the business, giving them an added stake in cost savings.

Last week employees from a Carema elderly care facility in Stockholm disclosed how major cut backs have meant staff shortages, broken equipment and sometimes no toilet paper.

According to the employees, management solved staff shortages by making personnel from other departments fill in 20 minutes here and there over the course of a day.

Reports from staff and ex-employees of Carema also included situations where toilets couldn’t be sat on due to their filthy state, the questioning of every prescription that would cost the company money, and a failure to address patient concerns.

For example, the DN reported how a patient’s broken bed led to the requisition of that of another patient’s, who in turn was forced to sleep on the floor for several months.

Carema has thus far chosen not to comment on its bonus programs or allegations of suspected neglect at both Koppargården and Tallbohov elderly care facilities in Järfälla, outside Stockholm.

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