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Care & carers


(17 Posts)
snowhound15 Sat 09-Dec-17 13:39:37

Hi all, my 91 yr old mum is in receipt of a SS home care package. The 2 regular carers are good however we have "casuals" to cover days off etc. I take issue with some of their practices such as re-using soiled bedding, removal of slide rails on her bath chair, signing for medicines they have not given and not giving medicines as directed by prescription. When I become concerned I ask for them not to be sent again, I think 3 carers so far.
Last week I received a telephone call from the agency to inform me they would no longer provide a service as they have not the staff to provide a safe service. The SS person was on leave for a week and has been on courses since her return though she has contacted me. Apparently no " accredited agencies has bid for the task. They are now to non accredited approach agencies. The council care team are only able to offer care at inconsistent times.
The SS state that if no care is provider they would seek to move mum to respite care.

Can they enforce such action?

I'm her son but have had to engage in personal care of my mum when carers fail to show.

When I raise issues with the care agency they either ignore the comments or suggest I prove it.
The SS has also ignored the issues.

maryeliza54 Sat 09-Dec-17 15:54:09

This is so awful - have you a decent local councillor?

Friday Sat 09-Dec-17 15:59:18

Yes, they can enforce such actions unless your mother has an existing LPA for Health and Welfare. Normally this would name a relative or a close friend who could overrule the SS. If no such Power of Attorney exists then you can do nothing except protest.

Nannarose Sat 09-Dec-17 16:00:28

So sorry this is happening. I'm afraid that this is how it is in some places - whatever is supposed to happen, it comes down to getting the staff.
I think you have to work on 3 fronts:
1. Talk to your mum about how she wants to handle it. I know a few people who at this point feel happier in a care home.
2. Inform your local councillor - check which authority is responsible - and copy to your MP
3. Contact a charity that operates in your area - Carers' trust or Age Uk are good starting points and ask their advice.

Good luck

Friday Sat 09-Dec-17 16:01:16

PS a LPA for for Property and Financial Affairs does not count.

vampirequeen Sat 09-Dec-17 19:55:30

Contact your MP and the media. Kick up a massive fuss.

maryeliza54 Sat 09-Dec-17 20:49:34

The problem with kicking up a massive fuss is that you lose control of what is happening - the media want stories, they don’t have to worry about solutions. That’s why starting with the relevant local councillor makes sense - if they are good. A good councillor understands the local situation, where the power lies, who to ring to make things happen. Start there and see what happens but good Lord isn’t this a damning indictment of our society - we should all hang our heads in shame

GrandmaMoira Sat 09-Dec-17 20:57:43

I thought most SS departments contracted out care some years ago. That's certainly the case where I live. I was shocked at how awful the carer allocated to my late DH was. I had to supervise everything he did. I don't have any answers, it just seems to be luck of the draw if you get a good carer or not.

GracesGranMK2 Sat 09-Dec-17 22:01:15

snowhound15 I can offer no better advice than you have already been given but I do feel so sorry you have been put in this position and hope you can find a solution.

MawBroon Sat 09-Dec-17 22:20:07

For what it is worth the 6 weeks of Carers paw had through RAHT (something like Reablement at Home Team) from MK were almost without exception fantastic. Caring, efficient, cheerful and absolutely punctilious about not administering anything which had been prescribed unless it had been entered by the District Nurse Team on a specific chart. And equally, using the things prescribed.( I did all his meds )
Nothing like the horror stories I had feared and I really missed them when our 6 weeks was up.
I would have been looking at a private agency if I had felt I couldn’t manage, but my faith in SS at least in this area was restored.

MissAdventure Sat 09-Dec-17 22:35:39

Social services can make the money available to your mum so that she can "buy in" her own care.
She can pay an agency, or choose carers for herself. Obviously this in a lot more work in the beginning for your mum (meaning you, more likely) but it means the care can be tailored to your mums needs.

GracesGranMK2 Sat 09-Dec-17 22:56:01

I think we have a similar team by a different name Maw and they certainly tried with my mother but she was not very co-operative. She had the six weeks when she came out of hospital after a TIA. The carers where great but the care they had been asked to carry out was inappropriate. Equally she has had the 'extra-care' team in for six days to keep her out of hospital when she had a chest infection - again inappropriate. The idea of waiting for them to arrive to do things for her has long since left her.

She has a regular 15 minute visit in the morning and that can range from good to worthless. Please let me say at this point I do not blame any of the carers for this. Noticeably the ex-nurses are great and confident in what they are doing but the training for carers is woefully absent. Other than the very early mornings when they go in I am there often enough to pick up any pieces but they must be annoyed with yet another post-it note in their file.

snowhound15 Sun 10-Dec-17 19:00:34

Hi all, I respond as I go down the list. So please bear with me.

Yes I hold both POA for health and finance.

We did have "reablement" team for 6 weeks. Not brilliant but better than the next two care teams. The one that has just served notice was better but as I say the casual ones leave a lot to be desired.
The real issue is the contract is between the SS and the carer agency. All they have to provide are bodies to call at the contracted site. Other than the initial team of 3 carers none has since looked at the care plan. Should this have been signed by the agency? Ours is not as I suspect the agency's copy is not the one we agreed to.
The carers sent then do fairly well as they please. It's taken 3 months to get one carer to wipe her feet as she comes in; she said she only would do this if it was raining!
The cares I recognise are "vital" to people but are poorly paid and badly treated by their employer and sometimes the "service user".
I write in the file. The post it note can disappear.

The first SS person would not allow me to organise care as I had spoken to the care agency to send in bed time calls around 2100hrs rather than 1800hrs she wished. Current SS has suggested this again but I have lost the energy. Plus I have had a basal cell carcinoma op on my forearm which has become infected. But that is another story!

I'll take a look at the councillor route. At least I'll know who to contact.

Thanks for all your help and suggestions. I hope to keep you posted.

snowhound15 Sun 10-Dec-17 19:07:25

I've contacted the local Care UK office but they usually are short staffed. I'll have to wait and see on this.

My mum in the past has sought to avoid the care home route. I tried for respite care while I had her home redecorated but no.

GracesGranMK2 Sun 10-Dec-17 19:19:45

We're still with you snowhound. This getting older thing really isn't for wimps is it. So much of what you say rings bells and I do feel so sorry for you and your mum.

MissAdventure Sun 10-Dec-17 19:32:23

Care plans should be agreed and signed by your mum (if she is able) and the persons responsible for delivering the care. Care which, incidentally should be 'person centred' to coin an often used phrase.
You have my sympathies too. The care my own mum received was very hit and miss. Some visits were 3 mins long, when they should have been for 30 minutes. Social services response was that if they had done what was needed in a shorter time, they were under no obligation to stay.

Cold Tue 12-Dec-17 11:13:04

What a tough situation.

It is a real problem now that so much of home-care is privatised that LA's need the care companies to bid for the contracts and it can be hard when there is a huge care need, long travelling involved or not much money being offered.

I saw a local news segment (South Today?) earlier this year about a lady who was stuck in hospital 7 months after she was ready for discharge because none of the private home-care companies wanted to bid on a 4 times a day care package in a remote isolated village and the council no longer had their own carers.