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Do these sound like typical standards for a care home?

(27 Posts)
Shangela123 Wed 26-May-21 08:51:04

2 night staff for 25 residents.
No seniors on night shifts.
3 day staff for the 25 residents and home manager on most days but in the office.

This morning, I was left alone with 10 residents in the dining hall, 3 who wander the building in tears, 2 who are physically and verbally aggressive, one who is very out of sorts and walks into people's rooms and moves chairs and tables around the building randomly.
Then a lady who constantly abuses staff of neglect, she asked to get up standing on several occasions but I was alone and she is a 2 to 1, so I kept telling her I needed 2 people to do it and she kept saying how cruel it was to treat people this way and leave them in pain, how awful we are etc.

Surely these numbers are far too low? I know it is likely the same for many places and that it's a question of money.

I was left on my own because my night colleague and the 3 day staff went into a room to do the handover, they really don't all need to be there for it. It was also past the time I was supposed to leave, and I was run ragged.

It makes me sad for the residents and I'm just interested to know if anyone's worked in care with better conditions? Thank you

25Avalon Wed 26-May-21 08:55:23

Doesn’t sound like they meet the care quality requirements that are set out by the Care Quality Commission. I expect others on here involved with care will be able to give you exact information.

Shangela123 Wed 26-May-21 09:10:21

No allocated break either, yes there's time to sit down but it isn't a set break as such, plus we sit with the residents during this time and must be on standby in case of anything.
Minimum wage.
Absolutely zero incentives or benefits for staff.

Cabbie21 Wed 26-May-21 09:20:57

This sounds pretty much like the care home my sister is in, hugely understaffed and consequently all the regulations are ignored. CQC has labelled it inadequate.
If you can find another job, I would suggest you do. I know it leaves that place in the lurch, but you have your own safety and well being to consider.

Nanof3 Wed 26-May-21 09:21:24

Unfortunately, this is typical. Homes are run for profit and welfare of staff is way down the list. Although charges are as high as they can get away with the money stays at the top of the pyramid and not much filters down to staff doing the real work.

Grannynannywanny Wed 26-May-21 09:26:29

Sadly the resident who is making the accusations of neglect and cruelty is correct. Not you personally of course. But the management and owners of this care home need to be reported.

You can do this anonymously to the Care Commission. They will do an unannounced inspection and check quality of care, staffing levels, speak to to residents who are able and will also speak to relatives.

You are doing your best against the odds. Please for the sake of these poor residents who deserve better make that phone call today.

timetogo2016 Wed 26-May-21 09:28:52

Absolutely Grannynannywanny.

JaneJudge Wed 26-May-21 09:30:30

It depends what hours have been commissioned per resident. Each resident should have a care plan and within it that it should detail core hours and commissioned hours where there may be a need for more staff (ie. 1:1 hours to wash, dress, personal care etc) If they aren't delivering the commissioned hours then they quite frankly need to be reported to the local authority. Some residents may be getting CHC funded hours too.

I really don't know what to suggest though. I think care homes are really struggling as in normal times they do get much more input from relatives who will go and sit with their relatives, feed them, take them out for a few hours. All that isn't really happening is it?

From my own point of view, it sounds miserable and unsafe sad

JaneJudge Wed 26-May-21 09:31:45

I'm glad Grannywanny has posted, do that. Report them to the Care Commission.

MerylStreep Wed 26-May-21 09:41:40

When you were going for an interview at this care home, did you not think to ‘look up’ the care home on line and see what people might be saying about it.
Also, at your interview were you not shown round the care home ?
I looked up the home I worked at as I couldn’t remember how many residents. There are 20 residents and from memory there were 6/8? care workers, that’s not counting kitchen/ laundry staff. One of those staff was always a registered nurse.
I do know that the night staff was 2 staff.
Why don’t you make an anonymous phone call to your local authority.

Aveline Wed 26-May-21 10:35:10

The care home my mother was in was very good. There always seemed to be staff available as well as some to 'entertain' the residents. It was also used as a student placement by the local university. It was an excellent place run as a charity and all funds went back into improving facilities for the residents.
I can only hope that a place like that will still be running if I ever need to go into one.

theworriedwell Wed 26-May-21 10:46:31

Care homes are closing as they can't function on the money local authorities are paying. If they are taking mainly or all privately funded it is a bit different but I know in my area it is almost impossible to break even when the LA is paying under £400 a week. That has to cover:
1. Wages plus on costs (NI, holidays, sick pay, pensions)
2. Rent or mortgage on the building
3. Insurance
4. Maintenance of the building (can be high e.g at a home where I do a few hours a week one resident tends to flood bathrooms if not constantly watched)
5. Food
6. Cleaning materials
7. Staff training costs
8. Registration fees
9. PPE
10. Bedding
11. Gas and electricity (can be high as you can't let vulnerable people get cold)
12. Laundry

That's just off the top of my head, I'm sure I've forgotten loads.

Having said all that 2 staff for 25 seems low but is it the sort of home where you have residents up at night or like the home I know where the staff sleep in and are on call but residents almost always sleep through the night?

Needs can vary so much.

cornishpatsy Wed 26-May-21 10:55:27

Yes, they do sound typical. I know of homes where there is one night staff to 20 residents with someone that can be phoned if necessary.

There are not enough homes or staff. I can see it going back to families having to look after their own elderly relatives.

Alexa Wed 26-May-21 10:58:06

Shangela, the care home you work in is deficient. If the place accepts high dependency patients it ought to provide enough nurses and other carers.

Can you whistle blow safely?

GillT57 Wed 26-May-21 11:02:29

It really depends upon the category of residents. If, like where my late Dm was living, there were very few challenging dementia clients, then just having one person 'supervising' a meal for ten people or so would be ok, but very different if some are wandering/arguing/needing help with eating. I also agree with theworriedwell, funding by local authorities is totally inadequate and it is unfair to blame the care homes, many of whom are closing down as they just do not make financial sense. Not all of them are run at a massive profit and it is unfair to label them all as such. Where Mum was, it was a small, privately run by the same family for two generations home, and all were privately funded, thus staffing levels were good, and it was a very caring and safe environment. I do realise that not all are the same, but as a country we need to recognise that care is very very expensive.

SueDonim Wed 26-May-21 13:56:05

Compared to the two experiences of people I know in care homes in recent years, that sounds standard. It’s appalling that our elderly and sick are being treated in this way. angry

Visgir1 Wed 26-May-21 14:27:27

CQC should be informed, as they have given the Care Home the certification to trade.
Whistle blow, you have seen this so you really need to report it.
How would you feel if something major happens? It's terrible for you and those poor vulnerable people.
CQC has the right to shut them down if they fail to compile.

silverlining48 Wed 26-May-21 14:28:07

When i first started working for social services in the 80s children's homes, care homes and domiciliary care were all run and managed by local authorities. Not always perfect but staff had regular training and possibility of promotion and profit was not part of the equation.
Once LA's started selling everything off to private companies things changed and not often for the better. Untrained inexperienced staff, unreasonable expectations and taking shortcuts with care.
Where profit is king, and stakeholders need paying, cuts will always be made. The losers are the users,and their families and of course the very important staff.

3nanny6 Wed 26-May-21 14:28:15

I worked in a private care home (run by a couple that had an upstairs flat on site) There was 12 residents so quite small. Myself and another carer worked from 7.30am until 1.30pm getting residents up, bathed dressed and seated in dayroom.
A few of them were more able than others and although some of them were quieter a few of them were more vocal on occasions. The husband of the couple done all the shopping and cooking and his wife (who had M.S.) was in a wheelchair herself. Their daughter who used to be a nurse
came into work at 1. 30pm for the afternoon shift (on some occassions bringing her 1 year old son with her. Another lady worked 3 hours to help with getting residents ready for bed.
They had nobody on night-shift and the husband just went down stairs if he heard problems.
One morning when I went in I was told to go to one of the rooms urgently as they said the lady was not too well. I found her bruised on the face arms and leg and when I enquired what had happened was told she had a slip over but they deemed her okay and put her to bed. I told the manager she should be seen by the doctor and I refused to get her bathed before someone was called. The doctor told them to call the ambulance service and they were furious but done it and the ambulance came there about 10.30am.
She was not taken to hospital but they said just give her a gentle wash down and let her rest and give her something for the pain.
I anonymously called the Care Quality Commission and they were told they had to get an overnight nurse to be on duty which once again they were furious about. I was also accused of being a troublemaker by the home and told everyone is loyal and would not have done something like whistle-blowing. I had completely lost faith in these people and had to leave for my own piece of mind but at least I had got the residents some night staff.

hulahoop Wed 26-May-21 14:46:24

Two at night sounds typical for most care homes one left when breaks taken I knew someone who worked in one which was two 15bedded rooms and during the night the two nurses had to do the ironing for their 15 disgusting I could not have worked anywhere like that .

GillT57 Wed 26-May-21 15:17:56

the bottom line is that we, as a country, have allowed this to happen, have sat by while governments have reduced funding to local authorities. I could not run a care home on £400 per resident, not with decent staff ratios. We all want decent care for our elderly, but don't want to pay the proper price for it through taxation, many moan that those who have capital have to pay while the others who have spent it on holidays, tv, fast cars get funding, and sadly, while this divisive myth is perpetuated, nothing will be done.

Polarbear2 Wed 26-May-21 15:19:06

There’s a campaign called #fixcareforall which is challenging the government to make good on its promises about social care. Lots of promises but no action. Maybe we should support it? As for your numbers- no it sounds too low imho. I’d write anonymously to CQC.

GillT57 Wed 26-May-21 15:32:26

Johnson was elected by many because of his promises to sort out social care for once and for all. He lied of course. However, I think that social care is too big a task for one party to sort out within one parliament, it needs multi party agreement, and we, the tax payers need to face reality. Mind you, when the Labour party hint at reality, and increased taxes, the electorate run the other way and vote for a liar who says what they want to hear.

BlueBelle Wed 26-May-21 15:34:44

When I worked in a care home I think there was about 16 to 20 residents and we worked from 7.30 pm to 7.30 am and only ever two carers on duty It was two, three storey houses put together so there was a fair distance from the bottom right room to the top left We were on low wages and worked all public holidays without any extra cash just basic wages It was hard work with all sorts of elderly physical and mental old age problems We had no training and no uniform we provided our own I did love the work though and made some life.long friends with those I did nights with, there s something about working nights that brings you together

Luckygirl Wed 26-May-21 16:49:19

I agree with silverlining48. Once care homes started to be sold off (by reason of political dogma) then standards began to fall. I was a social worker and always used the LA homes - properly staffed and funded, proper staff training and supervision.....I knew I could rely on my clients being safe.