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Carer Timesheets and CCTV Cameras - your thoughts please

Flake

Registered User
Mar 9, 2015
222
Quick recap - my Mum aged 84 has Mixed dementia,still living in her own home and has Carers 3 times a day for 30 minutes each time.

I make life as easy as I can for the Carers, I prepare all meals which are frozen so all they have to do is microwave them and use other snacks. Their other task is to keep the kitchen worktops clean and to help my Mum with her pad changes and a small amount of personal care. (The kitchen is grubby as is my Mum) Many of the visits are cut short and I have submitted a whole list of these to the Council for adjustment to my Mums bill as it is they who manage this. I have just had a review with my Mums Social Worker to discuss this and was given a list in return of all overrun visits, saying it is all swings and roundabouts. I have no proof of these times as the Contact books are taken when full (after about two weeks and I didnt keep a note of all visits - could kick myself). I have said that I will not pay for hours they have not done. I had a veiled threat that the Care Agency can terminate their contract with my Mum! I said to the Social Worker that I would install CCTV cameras to check the times of entry and exit as my Mum is very vulnerable and was told this was unlawful. Is this right?

Can I ask for all contact books to be audited properly as Im sure I am not the only person to whom the accounts are not accurate. And can I have sight of them?
Sorry if I am rambling but I feel my Mum is not getting a fair deal :mad:
 

Aisling

Registered User
Dec 5, 2015
1,806
Ireland
Quick recap - my Mum aged 84 has Mixed dementia,still living in her own home and has Carers 3 times a day for 30 minutes each time.

I make life as easy as I can for the Carers, I prepare all meals which are frozen so all they have to do is microwave them and use other snacks. Their other task is to keep the kitchen worktops clean and to help my Mum with her pad changes and a small amount of personal care. (The kitchen is grubby as is my Mum) Many of the visits are cut short and I have submitted a whole list of these to the Council for adjustment to my Mums bill as it is they who manage this. I have just had a review with my Mums Social Worker to discuss this and was given a list in return of all overrun visits, saying it is all swings and roundabouts. I have no proof of these times as the Contact books are taken when full (after about two weeks and I didnt keep a note of all visits - could kick myself). I have said that I will not pay for hours they have not done. I had a veiled threat that the Care Agency can terminate their contract with my Mum! I said to the Social Worker that I would install CCTV cameras to check the times of entry and exit as my Mum is very vulnerable and was told this was unlawful. Is this right?

Can I ask for all contact books to be audited properly as Im sure I am not the only person to whom the accounts are not accurate. And can I have sight of them?
Sorry if I am rambling but I feel my Mum is not getting a fair deal :mad:
In my opinion, I think carers and agencies should be held accountable and follow care plans. Who will do this? I honestly don't know. Terminating contracts?? More bullying of family members and family carers. Inform SS that your Mum is a vulnerable adult. Surely they should have duty of care.

Can you photocopy the contact books? Probably stupid of me to ask if carers are checked by supervisors? Copy anything you send to council etc.


Aisling xx
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,038
Staffs
I said to the Social Worker that I would install CCTV cameras to check the times of entry and exit as my Mum is very vulnerable and was told this was unlawful. Is this right?
No it is not unlawful. You do what you like and there is no need to mention to the SW or the carers.

How long are the visits for and are they are regular times?

:)
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
You could get all James Bond and try something like on the link below for example.
It records when the entry number is keyed in and when the door is opened from the inside to leave, you take the times off as a download on a USB stick then you have all the answers.
Carers can be forced to do things by circumstance, they may have had some overstays on; someone incontinent, someone who's feeling disdressed...any number of things, it's a bit like I feel guilty when I'm on time but the doctor seems me 25 minutes late, I'm just there for an annual blood pressure and cholesterol check, his last patient may have had cancer or something.
People dealing with people, as human beings, doesn't run to a clock it runs to the need of how they are on that day.
So if you don't want the understays will you accept a phone call saying the carer isn't allowed do an overstay on your mum. So she played up getting showered and dressed and hasn't eaten...over to you to sort that, you're at work, well so's the carer.
Cares who often get paid a pittance, no travel time allowance and are at the sharp end everyday are heroes and the fact they do time management so some days your mum gets a bit less time, sometimes a bit more shows they, the front line troops are doing something above and beyond the call of duty.
K

https://doorsolutionsdirect.co.uk/i...oduct&product_id=435&language=en&currency=GBP
 

AlsoConfused

Registered User
Sep 17, 2010
1,953
A lot depends on whether it is "swings and roundabouts" ... or whether your Mum is almost always getting short-changed (and possibly other cared for individuals are as well).

What you do know is that the carers aren't doing a good job - and their failure to do an adequate job may be related to not spending enough time doing it.

As a suggestion, why not tell the Agency you'd like to go through all their daily records pertaining to your Mum's care? You could copy on your mobile any interesting pages. I can't see on what grounds the agency could possibly refuse permission for you to go through the care records relating to your Mum.

As well as the James Bond stuff, "security" CCTV or whatever, the neighbours might well be prepared to keep an eye out and note down visiting times.

Good carers are worth their weight in gold and many of them do far more for the people they care for than they're actually paid to do (eg there may be only enough time to complete basic practical tasks but the good ones will still try to comfort and alleviate distress, even though that means working for nothing). That said, when a workforce is treated badly and suffers such unattractive terms and conditions, it wouldn't be surprising if some of them tried to get their own back by short-changing the people they care for.
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
all [/I]their daily records pertaining to your Mum's care?.
Because writing out a record for possibly a 15 minute visit takes most of the time.
OK the OP's loved one gets 30 minutes but, as we all know 30 minutes dressing someone on a bad day is 2 minutes on a good day.
Paperwork is fine but it all takes time, time taken away from actually doing the job in hand which is the most important thing.
K
 

WORRIER123

Registered User
Oct 1, 2015
1,174
The care company my dad has records visit times using a bar code on the folder so they swipe their phone over it as the enter and leave. If yours do this maybe you could ask for the records
The main carer always stays his full time sometimes longer but the others don't. I threatened cctv and they encouraged it sais no problem.
Good luck
 

DaveM

Registered User
Feb 16, 2016
42
Houghton Lake, MI U.S.A.
I am from the U.S., so I live under a different set of laws. Here is a thought. We have security cameras on the exterior of the house, pointed so that we can see who comes up to the doors and windows. This would be less of a violation of privacy than ones within the house itself. They are really set up for another purpose, (Safety) but they could be looked at to verify when people came and went.
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
3,015
West Hertfordshire
How do you know they are being cut short? By what isn't getting done or by some other means?
I am sure , irrespective of how long they actually spend, they will be writing what they should be doing ( arrive 7.30, departs 8am) .Seeing a record of that wont resolve the issue.

Is it swings and roundabouts? Have their been many occasions that the have over run?

If you are picking up the tab, you are perfectly entitled to find another agency, just as they are to terminate the contract. Its not a veiled threat, they will withdraw. If you don't trust them, and they are not doing a good job, why continue with them?

They may let you go through the records- but they will quite likely tell you they are their records, and that you can't.
 
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WORRIER123

Registered User
Oct 1, 2015
1,174
To add, the care company my dad has encourages me to read the folder with times and tasks done. There's 2 months worth in there at the moment
This is a care company selected by social services
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,038
Staffs
From what I understand, any recording has to be given permission because of the Data Protection Act. Which really isn't fair when someones Human Rights are being neglected.
I am afraid this in incorrect. You do not have the carers permission at all.
 

cragmaid

Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
7,941
North East England
You don't need to notify the Agency if you want to put up a camera, but I believe that....if you wish to publish the findings, you need to give the agency time to refute any claims.

I would ask you to check your data carefully, because my Mum used to swear that a) some days the girls never came at all, b) some days they stayed for Coffee and a long chat, c) they were rude, d) much nicer than YOU!!.......

The time sheets would say anywhere from 5 mins to 15mins... ( 15 mins were the minimum the agency would do calls for).The Care Agency can give notice of intention to quit and the SS will find a replacement.....but only when one has a vacancy. They will not magic another care agency in a hurry.

I'm hoping your Mum receives her Attendance Allowance to pay for these visits.
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
6,810
Bristol
We are on the third care agency for OH, in three years. Two have had a telephone logging system, the other didn't. That gives an accurate record of time spent, though I don't know how you could get a record of it.

I agree with the poster who said the agency can't just cancel the contract without SS making sure someone takes over, as your mum is a vulnerable adult.

Just a couple of ideas, Flake.
 

smartieplum

Registered User
Jul 29, 2014
259
This makes me so angry. This is the patient\clients money and we are paying what what is a private company for a service. The whole thing needs a complete overhaul, no matter where we are in the UK.
 

InnerGeek

Registered User
Feb 9, 2016
117
Using CCTV in a private home is not unlawful, nor does it require the consent of temporary visitors and callers. It does need consent of the permanent resident, if they're capable of giving it though. The CQC have published guidance on using CCTV in care home settings to ensure the safety of an individual and a lot of the advice in it can be applied to in-home CCTV too.

http://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20150212_public_surveillance_leaflet_final.pdf

My Dad's current care agency have skipped visits, and foreshortened the majority of others, at one point they were scheduled to give 16.5 hours of care per week but were actually providing between 9 and 11 hours.

The electronic tagging system they used was no help because it was set to round down to the nearest 5 minutes the tag-in, and round up to the nearest five minutes the tag-out. It doesn't seem to be geosensitive, so there have been occasions when I've been convinced the carers have taken the folder away with them as their tag times don't match up with their written record - in fact they've tagged in and out when Dad's been out of the house, and there is no movement recorded on Dad's Just Checking system!

They also tried the overstay argument with me, but didn't seem to understand when I explained that staying on five or ten minutes longer than a scheduled 60 minute visit didn't excuse not attending for the 30 minute visit that had been scheduled for later in the day.

I'd say it's worth requesting copies of electronic/handwritten records, but also finding a way that works for you and your Mum that gives you your own record for peace of mind.
 

AlsoConfused

Registered User
Sep 17, 2010
1,953
Kevinl and others - I think it's a mandatory requirement to write out and keep records of home care visits ... in which case, they ought to exist no matter how short the visits are.

In my Mum's case, visits were 30 mins long and the carers ALWAYS noted down when they arrived and what had been done during those visits. The notes protected the carers too - there were notes made of the occasions on which Mum's behaviour had been unpredictable and dangerous to her and / or the carer and also how the carer had attempted to deal with the situation she faced.

Those care records have to be kept for a period of time (2 years? 5 years?) after they've been completed. What I'm suggesting the original poster does is to contact the agency, arrange an appointment to view the completed records and go through them, taking copies as necessary.

In my Mum's case, we never had to go through such a palaver. The visit records were completed then and there and left with us so anyone who needed to consult them could.
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,038
Staffs
Recently (February 2016).

I had people coming from the government, I asked if I could record the conversation - I was told NO due to Data Protection of the people involved. Though they were coming on my request. I stated to them - rather than video, if I could just turn the video away - for privacy but keep a record of the meeting by just recording the voices. Again no - it was due to Data Protection - yes but it is my mother's Data and she has given consent.

I think they just don't like having recordings. The people invited were from Social Services to assess my mother's money, care costs and/or carer. So no recording, me with pen and paper trying to write down everything while my mother shuffled paper sitting on the floor.
CardiffLady I do not dispute in any way what you have said. I too have been told the same thing from Social Workers and senior management even to the point that if I continued recording they would refuse to have any more dealings with me.

That may be their policy but it is not the law. They don't like it as it can easily show their inadequacies and lack of knowledge. You can record whoever, whenever you wish in these type of circumstances. You are obliged to be careful of how you retain the recordings and make sure they are not recorded solely for the purposes of being uploaded to you-tube.

My day job requires me to record and film people doing things they claim they cannot, including crime, which is evidenced for court. Never has it been refused by a judge.

With recent allegations of abuse against my Mom whilst in a Nursing Home the Police are more than happy with the evidence I have obtained from covert recording and I have transcribed meetings with officials that for some unknown reason:rolleyes: differ from those of the official minute taker.

Record what you like, just be careful how you use it.

:)
 
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Plymum

Registered User
Jan 9, 2014
135
Just wanted to let you know of the system I have installed at my Mums house which is brilliant! Canary Care UK . Website is www.canarycare.uk. Basically ... movement sensors fitted around the house send immediate signals to an app I have on my iPad. I can see exactly what time anyone arrives and leaves and whereabouts in the house they go. Nobody is filmed but every movement is timed.


Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
 

Flake

Registered User
Mar 9, 2015
222
Thank you all for your comments and I apologise for not replying sooner. My Mums Carers attend 3 x a day - breakfast can be between 7 and 10am lunch between 12 and 2pm and teatime between 4 and 6pm. Some visits are early, some late. The visits should be for 30 minutes each. They note in a book which lasts for about 3 weeks, (depending on how large the handwriting is) their entry time, what they have done and a departure time. It is usually 4 to 5 lines finishing off with 'No EWS to report'.

I appreciate that a difficult call may precede my Mums visit and that they have to play catch up but when my Mum is left with a pathetic effort of a snack, still in her old clothes from days ago, when the notes state 'clothes changed' I do get a little miffed. Why do I stick with them you may ask, well I have been told that there is such a shortage of staff in these agencies that at least my Mum is getting a regular 3 visits a day.

I do not query the visits that are shortened by 5 minutes and I understand that some visits may overrun, but some visits are only for 15 or 20 minutes and I have been charged for the cancelled visits which I have done myself as I was visiting etc. Recently the majority of the visits are shortened and I have now been asked to record every time written.

My Mum had a visit from the Memory clinic last week and they advised a Camera system as my Mum is vulnerable and I need to see what she is doing at night. They also suggested that this Agency was not the only one to do the 'short visits' as staffing levels are not enough for the amount of people needing support.

I have done Care work myself in the past and know how difficult it can be to get the job done and include travel time, but this is happening to my Mum on a daily basis and I do not think it is fair.

Thank you all once again xx
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
So sorry flake, know what I want to say, but finding it difficult. The care agency service is just awful. Like you, I have had some experience of being employed by one, did not stay long though! Staff shortage is a poor excuse for bad management. I have a friend who works for a care agency and she has told me that since August, 5 extra visits have been added to her daily register, no increase of hours or any sign of the agency taking on new staff, or even advertising for any. The clients all rightly so want the visits at breakfast, lunch, tea and bedtime and she is struggling and fed up working with other carers that just have no understanding of what is required, actually lie on their time/report sheets. Getting fed up with the 2 management ladies telling her to work faster and not to hang around!!! And whenever there is a serious problem these two ladies somehow manage to cover their behinds!!!!