Care Home Neglect?

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by redbaron, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. redbaron

    redbaron Registered User

    Aug 13, 2014
    22
    My mum resides in a local authority funded care home and recently developed a nasty cough of which I was very concerned, I made a request to the care home staff if they could call out a doctor to examine her to see if she had a chest infection. I was informed that a doctor had been contacted and would visit her the next day because it was out of hours.

    The next day (late afternoon) my mother had a very nasty fall and had to be admitted to hospital where it was discovered that she did have a severe chest infection, don't know if this is connected to her fall..

    My mother contracted pneumonia at the hospital probably due to the chest infection and passed away a few days later.

    I have now discovered that a doctor did not make a visit to my mother as promised, instead the doctor phoned the care home and a member of the care home staff said my mother was ok and breathing ok, so there was no need for the doctor to call.

    I have made a request to the care home, why a doctor did not make a visit when I requested a doctor to call. The care home are not disclosing any information and appear to be trying to pass the buck. The information that I did receive was from my mother GP. I have now put an official complaint to the care home providers why my doctor's request was cancelled and I am awaiting a response.

    My question is because my mother suffered with dementia and resides in a local authority run care home should the care home have a legal duty to record all care information on her records? Like doctors visits what the doctor said etc..
     
  2. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    #2 TinaT, Dec 9, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
    I would wait to see what their response is. Is the home part of a chain or owner run? If part of a chain I would write with your complaint to the head office. If owner run, does the owner actually know what your complaint is? If not I would ask for an appointment with him/her.

    I'm not sure if you can ask to see the daily care records but they would be very useful to have sight of.

    There are so many similarities in what you have written and what I experienced when my husband was in a care home. I asked that a doctor visit and assess the medication as my husband was in pain. I was told that a doctor had visited and said that the pain medication was sufficient for his condition.

    Like yourself I later found that the senior care worker had spoken to the receptionist at the surgery and had not even spoken to the doctor. She also said that the doctor had said that paracetamol was stronger than morphine.

    This prompted me into insisting that I would speak with the doctor myself. I went immediately to the Care Home manager about the incident and was promised that my husband would be seen by a doctor immediately. This did happen and my husband did get prescribed morphine.

    However I later discovered that senior staff didn't always give my husband the morphine as they felt that paracetamol was sufficient!!! I felt so helpless. My husband quickly deteriorated to the point where he was comatosed and of course not eating or drinking. I knew he was in pain, he had been prescribed the correct medication at the correct level but the management of the home had changed and I had no confidence in any of the staff by this point. I got in touch with the local hospice who sent out a Macmillan nurse. She immediately had him transferred to the hospice where he died a few weeks later.

    It is horrid to be faced with a situation of conflict, especially in my case as I did like the senior care worker. She had by this time been suspended for a separate allegation by staff members. I'm very glad that I did stand my ground bed medication to help him but the staff did not agree I was in an impossible situation and it was such a hard thing to do and I wish I had fought harder when staff did not always give him the morphine he needed. The care in the hospice was second to none and he did rally for a few days with such good care. If there is such a thing as a good death, then I feel that is what my husband finally had, pain free and in as much comfort as he could be given.

    I hope that you can get to the bottom of this. It may or may not have contributed to the fall and subsequent death of your mum but nevertheless the home has a duty of candour and honesty when dealing with you and I would want to get to the bottom of it and make sure that no other resident's relatives had to face this.

    Best wishes to you

    xxTinaT
     
  3. redbaron

    redbaron Registered User

    Aug 13, 2014
    22
    Thank you.:)

    The care home is run by a local housing association although funded by the local authority.

    There are similarities to the experience with your husband's care home and probably others. I was my mum's power of attorney for health and welfare so I believe that I should be informed of any health issues with my mum.

    My concern is if it is neglect, this type of practice will continue unless it's questioned and answered for.
     
  4. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    I would wait to see what their response is. Is the home part of a chain or owner run? If part of a chain I would write with your complaint to the head office. If owner run, does the owner actually know what your complaint is? If not I would ask for an appointment with him/her.

    I'm not sure if you can ask to see the daily care records but they would be very useful to have sight of.

    There are so many similarities in what you have written and what I experienced when my husband was in a care home. I asked that a doctor visit and assess the medication as my husband was in pain. I was told that a doctor had visited and said that the pain medication was sufficient for his condition. Like yourself I later found that the senior care worker had spoken to the receptionist at the surgery and had not even spoken to the doctor. She also said that the doctor had said that paracetamol was stronger than morphine. This prompted me into insisting that I would speak with the doctor. I also spoke with the Care Home manager about the incident and was promised that my husband would be seen by a doctor. This did happen immediately and my husband did get prescribed morphine.

    It is horrid to be faced with a situation of conflict, especially in my case as I did like the senior care worker. I'm very glad that I did stand my ground but it was such a hard thing to do.

    I hope that you can get to the bottom of this. It may or may not have contributed to the fall and subsequent death of your mum but nevertheless the home has a duty of candour and honesty when dealing with you and I would want to get to the bottom of it and make sure that no other resident's relatives had to face this.

    Best wishes to you

    xxTinaT
     
  5. redbaron

    redbaron Registered User

    Aug 13, 2014
    22
    A bit of an update.

    I had a meeting with my mother's GP to discuss the reason why the doctor did not attend to see my mother. The GP stated that there was no request from the care home for a doctor to call, all calls to the surgery are logged and there is no record. The care home have informed me that my mother's notes were unfortunately not updated and have apologised for this and no care home staff recalls any of the information.

    I believe that my mother's care home did act negligently which I believe resulted in her death. It appears that there is now very little that I can now do. I am so unhappy that this care home appears to have got away with their negligence and of the likelihood that another resident can be treated in the same way as my mother.
     
  6. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    I am so sorry this has happened to you and to your mum
    I would contact the CQC tomorrow and inform them of your concerns. You can do this by phone and in writing. They need to be aware
    this is their contact form http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/contact-us-using-our-online-form
    and this is their phone number
    03000 616161. It is a contact centre and not that great unless you happen to get the right person but do call them anyway and definitely follow it in writing.

    Then phone adult safeguarding duty desk at your local council and tell them exactly what you have told us, and ask for an email address because you want to put it in writing and copy them the info that you sent to the CQC

    Include in all info
    the chronology of events, your mothers name, date of birth and the care home. One letter will do for everyone. Ask for an investigation, any specific questions that you have about the sequence of events and a full written response. Copy it to the GP.

    Ensure that you ask for a written response and don't go to any meetings until you have a full response in writing. Sometimes they get you to meetings and then it is all verbal and not properly recorded

    I'm sorry I didn't see your original email. It is really important to put it all in writing.
    There have been a lot of problems because GPs are reluctant to go out to care homes and put a lot of pressure on them not to call. I have even heard of instances where GPs refuse to register residents of a care home. It is difficult to tell what has happened - whether it is the care home or the GP and it sounds as though they are passing the buck backwards and forward. It needs to be investigated you are quite right because whichever it is it will happen to other residents unless you highlight it to everyone.

    An organisation which can be helpful is Compassion in Care. Initial contact with them is by email so just copy your letter to them asking if someone will call you
    Info@compassionincare.com. A lady called Eileen Chubb runs it and is great but very busy.

    I am in the process of making a complaint about a very similar problem but in a hospital unbelievable! I am now a year down the line and am still waiting for questions to be answered. My complaint is being investigated by the PHSO but they won't investigate until you have responses from all other agencies. It is a long haul but like you I think it is worth it if it saves one person from suffering as my mother did.

    I don't know if this is helpful. Please feel free to private message me
     

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