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To expect better care for the elderly? Sorry, hobby horse, but I'm flipping annoyed again!!

(10 Posts)
kittylester Sat 30-Mar-13 15:52:16

Sorry to return to my hobby horse but I'm going to anyway. grin As some of you will be aware (and are probably bored rigid!) about 10 days ago we moved Mum from the dreadful residential home in which she had been living for the past 3 years.

On the day we were moving her, I bumped into the daughter of another resident who said that they were so appalled by the home that they had had a solicitor involved since last October. They were also in touch with Social Services who had asked them to encourage people with complaints to contact SS direct.

My brother rang to speak to a Social Worker who told him that they had a whole team working on the case and had been doing so since being contacted by the solicitor acting for the other family in Autumn 2012. They have a 'thick file' of complaints from staff and residents.

The CQC website indicates that the home was inspected in February and given the highest rating. confused

I know 'innocent until proven guilty' is the standard but surely, in a case where there have been so many complaints and older people's welfare is at stake, there should be a system for a home having a team of people who actually know what they are doing being sent it to keep it on track until the truth is established.

Rant over!!

absent Sat 30-Mar-13 15:56:19

Oh kitty, this is just appalling and it suggests that the inspection was simply rubber stamping. Thank goodness your mum has been moved to somewhere better – and well done for doing it. I understand your exasperation and incomprehension about this system works. flowers for you and your mum.

Audreyab Sat 30-Mar-13 16:23:55

kitty I think it might be a good idea to heed the advise of the former residents daughter.

These places can be extremely neglectful and downright horrid to residents.

If it were me I would out them as there have been so many complaints about them..I hate the thought of those poor residents getting neglected and treated badly!!sad

soop Sat 30-Mar-13 16:27:12

kitty ...and to think that there must be countless other residential homes with the same low deplorable standard of care. You have every reason to rant. Keep up the pressure. sunshine for you and your mum.

Movedalot Sat 30-Mar-13 16:34:55

Kitty it seems appalling that there is a file on them but nothing has been done for around 6 months! Seems to be no sense of urgency. I do hope you will complain long and loud for the benefit of those still there.

Mishap Sat 30-Mar-13 16:38:08

This is dreadful. The CQC are easily fooled believe me.

Contact your MP - say you know that there is a thick file of complaints but people are still there and nothing has been done. Contact the local councillor.

Contact Ann Clwyd - she is looking into poor care in hospitals, but some beds in residential homes are NHS funded.

SSD CAN act - when I was a SW a home was rapidly closed down and a team of us had to set about finding care for 20 odd elderly people at short notice as the registration had been withdrawn. It was a nightmare, but at least we made sure everyone was safe. One of the reasons SSDs drag their feet is because they do not know where to send the residents if the registration is withdrawn.

My heart goes out to you - we have recently been in a similar situation with my Dad - you feel so impotent and, if you are anything like me, incandescent with rage.

kittylester Sat 30-Mar-13 17:39:21

Thank you all for your support.

I do wish we had bitten the bullet earlier and moved mum sooner. In fact DH urged my brothers and I in the first place to install her to the one she has now moved to. Some of us (Mum particularly!) were taken in by the 'poshness' of the place and, while Mum was still fairly well, it was fine. But, by the time we realised that the care element was missing, Mum was much worse mentally and we kept badgering away to try to improve things so we didn't have to confuse her even more.

Two unnoticed infections later we have moved her and she is mentally totally confused, inclined to rudeness and violence shock but safe. And we feel guilty! sad

We are definitely going to meet SS and complain to the CQC. We will see what happens then. We struggled to find another home willing to take Mum, and the other family can't find anywhere to take their father because he needs so much care, so I can understand the reluctance to close somewhere down but I do feel that something should be done to help failing homes improve.

NfkDumpling Sat 30-Mar-13 18:16:31

It's an horrendous situation. I do wish politians would grasp the nettle and properly sort out where our taxes should be spent. It seems rather poorly balanced at present. Unless care assistants are paid a reasonable wage we cannot expect to get high calibre workers. Care home staff are expected to be dedicated, intelligent, caring and responsible on the minimum wage. In too many cases share holder profits and accountancy targets are given higher priority than the well being of the residents and patients. Hospital's replace nursing staff with less qualified care assistants and expect the same level of knowledge. It's madness.

FlicketyB Sat 30-Mar-13 19:50:36

The problem is Councils who will not pay a realistic sum of money to homes for the care of residents reliant on council funding. I do understand the pressures on local budgets but paying so little for care that care home managers have to cut down on, staff, training and the care provided because more and more SW time and money is spent dealing with complaints, visiting care homes.

My aunt I paying £800 a week to live in a pleasant care home. It is not luxurious but is well run and with good care. She is self funding. If she were dependent on state funds, the local council will only pay £450 a week for her care. The care her home provides cannot be provided at that price.

Mishap Sat 30-Mar-13 22:18:27

When the funding of care home fees was transferred from what is now the benefits agency to LAs, all of us SWs said loud and clear that it would only work if LAs received enough money to do the job properly. They didn't and it is not being done properly.

The theory was good in many ways - to make proper assessments of who needed care, rather than just assessing their income and savings as the critieria.

But no way it could work with insufficient cash. All the predicted problems are happening. It all needs reviewing.

All the LA homes that used to exist round here have closed - they were the ones I chose for my patients because they had good supervision and training.

Private homes can be solely profit- led and it is a disaster.