Tag Archives: Care Homes

Complained about neglect in a care home and faced a visiting ban? This is the new normal | Helen Wildbore | The Guardian

This is unfortunately just the ‘tip of the iceberg‘ for these problems run deep in social care and have done for many years, but the neglect is not just in care homes, but throughout the care sector, However, the greatest neglect is not only this current Government, but all previous Governments for none of them have done anything to solve any of the problems in social care. Social Care has been in crisis for many years, but the extent of the crisis now is so ever great.

While there have been problems in social care due to the degree of funding, this became much worse since 2010 when the Tory Government commenced their austerity cuts on Local Authorities, (LAs), then followed by COVID and now there are still no signs of Government concerns.

Yes, Brexit did add to the problems, but only to stem the supply of european workers, who are now experiencing the same problems of other nationalities from outside Europe. The main problem is the attitude to funding LAs to provide all LA services and while LAs don’t generally now have care workers they are the authority to provides the funds to Care Providers who inturn then pay their care workers. However, the care workers receive a pittance, otherwise known as the National Living Wage, which is so contradictory, for, while being a wage, it is far from a Living Wage. This is expressly so for care workers who are nowhere near paid for the responsible work they do.

But, you will say that care workers are not taking on the responsibilities required and I agree some are not, but the majority of them are, it is just that there is a great insufficency of them. The only way to encourage more workers to come into social care is to pay them the real wage they deserve, which is in the region of £14/15 per hour. This would then ensure that the good quality care workers stay within the profession and don’t leave for much better employments with more, than likely, much less responsibilities. Also more would be willing to enter the profession and indoing so the quality of care would considerably improve.

Now, if there is poor quality care then complaints have to be made as this is the first idicator that situations are not what they should be and enable for the much needed improvements to commence and not just leave it to the CQC (Care Quality Commission) to find. The other problem is that the CQC don’t investigate complaints, when they should, but here again is the problem with funding, for in their funding there is no payment provision to do so. This is also down to the Government because they have ommited to create an organisation to conduct all the required attention of care that should be there. As per normal the Government wants work done on the cheap, but quality costs and the Government is not prepared to pay for it.

Then look at the care providers who are not delivering the care that is required, both the employers and their employees. If quality care is not being provided then those not doing so should be no longer in social care. The process of blaming the complainants should not be tolerated by anyone for people should be encouraged to complain and not discouraged.

So, it is not just the problems in Social Care that complaints should be raised about, but the total lack of care and commitment of this and all previous governments in all their dealings with social care.

I have been raising complaints on behalf of my own family for as long as I can remember and if I have encountered barriers, then I complain even more and take the complaint to the highest possible authority. As yet I have not taken any complaints to the Local Ombudsman, but have mentioned I will do if the situations are not sorted. So, far I have been satisified with the investigations that my actions have caused to take place. However, when I do complain, I don’t just make a compliants, but also offer suggestions to how improvements can be made. When I do raise my complaints I generally do so in a civil way and don’t become abusive, even though I may feel I wish to be, but that is what the systems causes. Systems should be flexible and easily changed where change is required.

But I do agree that to bring in the Ombudsman is so time consuming when it should not. Before raising to the appropraiate Ombudsman, a formal complaint needs to be made and allow 12 weeks for the organisation to deal with the complaint, but it should be formally acknowledged within 48 hours and where possible time scales for responses should be advised.

The other problem with going to the Ombudsman is that they do’t necessarily look at the rights or wrongs, but check that the due process has been followed, this again needs to be changed, for the due process could well be inappropriate and therefore be wrong. This is totally wrongand needs to change.

The other is to start a judical review, but here again there are major problems, as due to Government interventions, it is now not that easy to bring forward a Judical Review  due to Government changes to obtaining Legal Aid, so finding a Solicitor to take it forward on a ‘no win, No fee’ basis is easier said than done. So for many a Judical Review is not at all possible, which again is wrong, except for the fairly rich, whoich the majority of the UK is not.

The Governments have got away with this total lack of concern for way too long and the full blame needs to be directed to where it really belongs and that is the Government.

 

Source: Complained about neglect in a care home and faced a visiting ban? This is the new normal | Helen Wildbore | The Guardian

Advertisement

English care homes ‘sitting ducks’ as GPs refuse Covid vaccine at infected sites | Coronavirus | The Guardian

So, according to this article some GPs are ignoring a NHS directive to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to all residents and staff in care homes, if there are any positive COVID-19 residents there.

Unfortunately the NHS can only advise GPs to enter and not insist, as all GPs and their practices are independent  organisations and run their own practices how they wish.

The practices undertake to do work for the NHS, but all persons in the practice are employed by the practice and not the NHS.

This is a throwback to when the NHS was created in 1948 as then, GPs and Dentists were refusing to enter the NHS as they were reluctant to lose their private status. To this the Government of the day, stated that their private status could be maintained, if they did contract to do NHS work and this remains the status quo.

Now, of course the current GPs are stalwarts of the NHS and are against any forms of privatisation, when they are acting, in some way, as a private organisation themselves.

This, in practice, normally works well, but can bring anomalies as with GPs refusing to enter Care Homes.

However, there are other instances were this comes into conflict with NHS directives, one being the delivery of Annual Health Checks to persons with Learning Disabilities, where some practice do them in a fashion while others to a good standard. This is but one another instance, but there will be others.

Source: English care homes ‘sitting ducks’ as GPs refuse Covid vaccine at infected sites | Coronavirus | The Guardian

Thousands of vulnerable people held unlawfully in care homes – report | Dementia | The Guardian

So, another problem relating to social care,  but is it another problem for it is relating to an existing problem and that is the insufficiencies in Social Care.

For in Social Care there is a capacity problem, in that there are insufficient care workers to provide care to all the persons in need of care in the location they wish to be in.

Many of these persons placed in care homes would wish to stay in their own homes, but to do that more care workers would be required in home care.

Also many of these persons in need of care will need 24/7 care, but there are insufficient care worker to provide the minimum care of, say, visits of 15 minutes to 1 hour. Then there is the question of good quality care, which is far from consistent.

But the lack of care workers is but one of the problems, the main being insufficient funding to provide all the care which is needed.

However, if there was a miracle and a Government came that was prepared to fund social care sufficiently, it would not be able to do so.

This being because when Social Workers do Assessments of Need they tend to only record needs which they feel their Local Authorities (LAs) will fund.

Unfortunately Social Care has never been sufficiently funded, due to this current and previous Governments not willing to fund social care sufficiently. With the 10 years of austerity cuts and now the additional costs relating to COVID-19, this insufficiency is even more serious, which could lead to social care fail for everyone.

When this occurs, even more pressured will be placed on health care, which is already under great pressures.

Yes, this current Government has provided some funding to cover some of the costs relating to COVID-19 costs, but nowhere to the extent required.

An immediate amount of £12 billion needs to be provided, but this will only return the funding to 2010 levels, which has previously been stated was insufficient.

As  this should be monitored by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and(LAs), but again there is an insufficiency of funding for this to be done fully.

So, Social Care is in a very serious crisis, which led me to create the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care, https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care.

Some of the issues raised in the petition were mentioned on Boxing day in a Sky News report, Social Care – The Other Health Crisis, https://news.sky.com/video/social-care-the-other-health-crisis-12172633, regarding an investigation they have done into the crisis in social care.

They highlighted many of these issues and called on the Government to abide by the promise made by Boris Johnson in 2019 in his election winning speech outside 10 Downing Street, one promise that is still outstanding.

Unfortunately Social Care is not well thought of by many persons not in need of Social Care, that is until they do need it. Much of this is down to the Media in how they report on care and the attitudes of Governments, both now and previously and this is also reflected in how benefit claimants are treated.

This all has to change and change now.

Supporting the petition could be a start.

Source: Thousands of vulnerable people held unlawfully in care homes – report | Dementia | The Guardian

Five things to watch out for in Rishi Sunak’s spending review | Politics | The Guardian

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer

 

The Guardian believes there are 5 things to watch for in Rishi Sunak’s spending review this coming Wednesday.

However, I believe there is, at least, a 6th and this is Social Care, for Social Care has been under-funded for as long as I can remember, going back to 1970, or even before and no Government, be it Labour or Conservative has looked at this, which is a very sad state of affairs.

Unfortunately Social Care is not looked upon in such a high esteem as healthcare, but it should be, as it is as vital, if not more so than health for those who have to depend on it.

By not sufficiently funding social care, this is adding to the costs for health care, where a proactive approach would remedy many of the factors which cause health referrals and thereby increasing the need for those persons to have to use the NHS.

A main area which could be one that would, more than likely be referred to less, would be mental health, as the factors which lead to a mental health deterioration would be mitigated, not only for the person at the centre, the person in need of Social Care, but also their family, who could well be caring for them or at least have some input.

But, it is not just mental health, in varying degrees, but other aspects of health, be it physical or leading to many various health conditions, such as, relating to the heart and other organs, strains, injuries, arthritis and many others.

However, health is only one factor, for as mentioned above there is a very serious funding deficit in Social Care, resulting in many in need having no social care input, or, just as important, insufficient input.

Much is said about pay in health and other areas of public service, but the pay in social care, for care workers is abysmal, with many only on or just above the National Living Wage, or, if under 25 the Minimum Living Wage, while many, if not all public service workers are on, at least the Real Living Wage, as calculated by the Living Wage Foundation.

The Real Living wage is, currently, £9.50 per hour across the UK and £10.85 for London for persons 18 years and over, while the National Living Wage is, currently, £8.72 for persons 25 and over, with the Minimum Wage, currently, £8.21 for persons 21 and over. So, persons under 21 could well be on a lower rate.

Time as long gone for in-action, for now is the time to act, yesterday would have been even better.

I felt so strongly on this, that I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care

Should more information be required this can be obtained here.

If you agree, please sign and share.

This Governments in-action on Social Care, is even more worrying, for the only actions this year is to allow the elderly to be discharged from hospitals in March/April 2020, without being COVID-19 tested and then bringing them into Care Homes, effectively bringing ‘Death’ into those homes for the residents and care staff.

This was not their only actions causing concern, there was the ineffective measures to ensure there was insufficient PPE, (Personal Protective Equipment), in care homes and the rest of the Social Care market.

The delays in introducing the National Lockdowns, allowing millions to come into the UK in March/April/May 2020 without checking if they had COVID-19 or not.

Then there was the actions of Dominic Cummings, now, belatedly former Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), in his jaunts to the North of England and then allowing him to continue in post, thereby making a mockery of the restrictions being placed on others within the UK.

These and others have created a National Scandal and now there are many who are refusing to abide by the National Lockdown 2 and the Tier systems.

Now we may have a relaxation of restrictions for Christmas and New Year with the reintroduction of restrictions in 2021, is this really a suitable Christmas present and New Year resolution, for many could well succumb to COVID-19 due to this.

This will then cause much more admissions to hospitals at a time when the Flu could well be around.

What this will do to Social Care, I do not, really wish to consider, for it could well be seismic and insufficient funding on top.

Please Boris, step up and govern and not take a ‘laissez-faire’ approach.

2021 could well be the disaster of all disasters.

 

Source: Five things to watch out for in Rishi Sunak’s spending review | Politics | The Guardian

Fat cat health operators are milking the old, sick and disabled

Fat cat health operators maybe milking in respects of Care Homes, but Care Homes are only one part of Social Care for there is Home Care, Supported Living, Hospices, Respite and others.

Funding is a major problem in Social Care, when was it not, bust 10 years of austerity cuts and now COVID-19 have and are making the situation much worse.

But, again funding is only part of the problem, for there is the situation with care staff pay, which is abysmal and then the poor working conditions, the lack of staff and many others.

Many Governments have promised to look at Social Care, but it needs more than looking at, for it needs urgent action, action that should have been done years ago.

Funding of sorts has been found for health care, but if social care fails, then health will require much more funding and it could be that the extent of funding will not be sufficient, as health can not exist without social care and social care without health.

Funding has been found for the many areas relating to COVID-19, but Social Care appears to have been forgotten by this Government, why when there is great urgent need for social care.

Is it because persons in the Government do not use social care so, it could be out of site, out of mind.

So much for promises.

 

Source: Fat cat health operators are milking the old, sick and disabled

Coronavirus UK: Infected to be sent from hospital back to care homes | Daily Mail Online

Again ‘lessons have not been learnt’, well they never are.

Care homes are not equipped for this type of care and the staff are not trained in such care, but some unscrupulous care home owners may succumb, if the cash is right.

This is not right for the care home residents and the care home staff.

Again this is adding to the crisis in Social Care, which has been present for far too long. For this reason and others I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care, https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care.

Please view the petition and, if you agree, please sign and share.

 

Source: Coronavirus UK: Infected to be sent from hospital back to care homes | Daily Mail Online

Do-Not-Resuscitate Order: Care Home Use Reviewed | Same Difference

The use of do-not-attempt-resuscitate (DNAR) orders is to be reviewed after a number were wrongly applied in care homes at the start of the pandemic.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will investigate concerns that some care homes still have blanket orders in place covering groups of residents.

It became clear that blanket use was in place in some care homes in the early weeks of the pandemic.

But it was widely condemned by the CQC and medical bodies.

The decision about whether or not to attempt resuscitation if a very sick person falls dangerously ill is supposed to be discussed with the individual, or family members if they are too sick.

Doctors can make a decision on the spot without consultation in exceptional circumstances.

However, the decisions are always supposed to be made on an individual case-by-case basis.

The health minister Lord Bethell has asked the CQC to investigate the latest claims. He told the House of Lords that blanket use of DNARs was “unacceptable”.

 

Source: Do-Not-Resuscitate Order: Care Home Use Reviewed | Same Difference

NHS asked care homes to place ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders on all residents at height of pandemic : The Telegraph : The Learning Disabilities Daily

Care homes were asked by NHS managers and GPs to place blanket ‘Do not resuscitate’ (DNR) orders on all their residents at the height of the coronavirus pandemic to keep hospital beds free, a new report has found.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) – the world’s oldest nursing charity – discovered one in 10 care home staff surveyed was ordered to change DNR plans without discussion with family members, nursing staff, or with the residents themselves.

Half of staff members who said they had been asked to change DNRs worked in homes for the elderly, while half worked in homes for younger people with learning or cognitive disabilities.

Staff also warned that some hospitals were operating a ‘no admissions’ policy for care home residents – even for non-Covid-19 conditions such as heart attacks – and some said they had struggled to make appointments with GPs for elderly people.

 

Source: NHS asked care homes to place ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders on all residents at height of pandemic : The Telegraph : The Learning Disabilities Daily

“kick in the teeth” for frontline heroes who put their lives on the line during pandemic : Care Industry News

Social care providers in Wales have called low pay for carers and nurses a “national disgrace” following public sector pay rises in other areas.

According to Care Forum Wales, which represents 500 care homes and domiciliary care companies, it was a “kick in the teeth”  for the frontline heroes who put their lives on the line during the coronavirus pandemic.

The fact that they were being ignored while almost 900,000 public sector workers, including teachers and doctors, were getting above inflation pay rises was galling.

In Wales, pay rates are effectively determined by local councils who set the level of fees care homes and domiciliary care companies receive.

As a result, say Care Forum Wales, wage levels have been unfairly suppressed by the local authorities who have managed the budgets for 25 years.

 

Source : “kick in the teeth” for frontline heroes who put their lives on the line during pandemic : Care Industry News

 

Advinia, chair Sanjeev Kanoria, says it’s time to fix social care : Care Home Professional

Dr Sanjeev Kanoria, Founder and Chairman of Advinia Health Care, tells CHP now is the time for fix the crisis in the UK’s care sector

Source: Advinia chair, Sanjeev Kanoria, says it’s time to fix social care : Care Home professional