Complaint against Care Agency

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Flake, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. Flake

    Flake Registered User

    Mar 9, 2015
    222
    Ive made a complaint about my Mothers Care Agency. I feel I am constantly complaining and checking up on them. Im not sure they understand the full complexities of dementia, despite all supposed to be trained, in that they do the bare minimum, and today they brushed my Mums hair for the first time in 3 weeks! I work full time but I see her almost every day and find I am checking up on them. I have been told not to write in their contact book, as I was leaving messages. Last week they failed to give her some antibiotics even after the Supervisor had been there and then the young Carer that arrived could not give the evening medication as it was not written on their sheet! Just as well I was there. Needless to say I was not very happy and told them so. I have now had an accusatory phone call with one of the supervisors who implied that as I was so busy at work I could not give my Mum enough time and maybe she should go into respite or care, and that they could do nothing right! Had a meeting with my Mums social worker who has asked that I have a meeting with the Agency and give them chance to improve as my complaint will affect their rating! I have been to see my Mum today and thrown out mouldy bread and out of date food (again). What do I do now - stick with them or continue with my need to change them? Would appreciate any comments. Thank you :mad:
     
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    What a cheek to tell you that your complaint will affect a rating!!!! That is outrageous. SS should be working for the best possible care not **** care cover ups!!

    Do the agency provide regular carers and do they all stay for the required amount of time or does she have different carers every visit who rush in and rush out? She needs a small group of regular carers who know her and more importantly who she knows and who provide the care that she needs.

    If they won't let you write in their contact book then i should insist that you need to keep the communication going so you will provide your own book which you need them to read and sign and write in.

    Medication errors are a serious offence and I suspect that is why they are attempting to turn the tables on you and make you feel guilty. It is important that they contact you immediately if there are any issues around medication and don't just not give it to her. I would also insist that they must let you know if she hasn't had her meds for some reason. She couldn't give your mum the meds because they weren't on the sheet but that is because the supervisor or care leader had filled in the sheet incorrectly!!!!!! The hair situation is personal care and is clearly not adequate. This means that at every level they are failing in their care.

    What bothers me most about your post is that the Agency management are not working hard to keep your mum's independence because they are suggesting care or respite. That is the one thing that would make me not want to work with them.

    In some ways you have answered your own question - you don't trust them because they have made too many errors. I would list all your complaints and go through the motions of meeting with them as you can't afford not to have backup but I would also ask around locally to see if there is a better agency and then put in a formal complaint to Adult care services and then to the CQC (this won't get any immediate results but will help others). I would not let them get away with trying to forestall a complaint.

    An alternative would be to see if you can access some day care for your mum and then just top up with a care agency?

    Sorry a lot to think about. Thinking of you in this frustrating situation
     
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,550
    Female
    London
    How dare he blame you for any of this! Their failings would be the same whether you worked or not! Not giving medication is a very serious issue. Don't talk to them on the phone anymore, put it all in writing and hand it over at the meeting, also to the social worker. You've entrusted the care of their mother to them, that's what they are paid to do. If they can't do that, a complaint is justified and SHOULD affect their ratings!
     
  4. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,829
    UK
    My head is telling me to tell you to sort them out, you should stand up to them. However my heart really wants to tell you to look for another agency, your mother deserves so much better and your time is far too precious to spend fighting with this inadequate service. Once a more professional and caring agency is found, then blast the old one with anything you have. Really, really annoys me when care agencies go on the defensive like this and someone at the top of this heap of **** is making a lot of money.
     
  5. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    #5 bemused1, Nov 14, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
    I have had similar fallings out with the agency I use for my husbands care. The fault was not so much with the standard of care because I am here and don't let them get away with anything. The oproblem as you say is they do not understand dementia even though they are 'trained'.
    I too had an argument with a supervisor which resulted in almost 6 months of dropped calls, many occasions when I have been left to cope on my own. As a result I tried desperately hard to find another agency, only to discover that not one could take him on. So I am stuck with the one I have.
    Again the fault was allegedly entirely mine, I was too fussy, nothing was good enough etc, etc. Even when I spoke to the manager he made no attempt to address the problem.this week is the first for almost 6 months when all calls except one are covered. Unfortunately I cannot make my complaints official because I cannot find another agency and I need whatever help I can get. The fault is not with the carers its with the people who are only interested in money.
    We are self funding so in a slightly different position. However, I would say find another agency. They have tried and tested ways of making things difficult if you complain and your mum will suffer. I only wish I could change.
     
  6. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    5,737
    North East Lincs
    We have had all sorts of problems with our Care Agency. I'm now optimistic that they are sorted. I make personal calls as their office is down the road and I've worked hard to build up rapport. Our new sw seems to have supported my call for continuity. Both of our carers are excellent and a new one who came last Sunday was of the same ilk.

    This has all taken a lot of hard work and angst as readers of my thread will have seen. We shouldn't have to do it but I don't want to be an employer and have Direct Payment. I want to be able to E Mail and pick up the phone and get good care when we need it. That is something we should all have. I hope you find your way of sorting them out. It is worth it in the end!
     
  7. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    As I've remarked before grey, you are lucky to have the support you do. I have tried every approach under the sun to get my point across and I would not stay with this agency if I had an option.
    Nor do I have a very helpful social worker. In our area they are so thin on the ground that self funders are way down at the bottom of the list, if they ever get to us.
    Let us be clear about this I have no qualms about paying for my husbands care, its what we both worked all our lives for. But where does it say that means we can do it all on our own?
     
  8. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,570
    North West
    Of course a complaint against this agency should be made. The CQC certainly seem to be aware that the handful of complaints that most agencies own up to are the tip of the iceberg.

    But, without boring you with all the details of my own experience, it's not as simple as that is it? You may be in the unfortunate position that bemused is in - there is really only one local agency she can use, they are obviously aware of this and react to being made aware of deficiencies by ensuring that she gets 'punished' by an even less satisfactory level of service. And even if, best case scenario, you are self-funding and have a better agency available to you (our situation) by the time you have sacked the first agency and taken on the second and gone through all the rigmarole and things have settled down, the trauma that the first agency put you through is like a bad dream you just want to forget.

    Now if you were leading a 'normal' life, one where you could choose how to spend your time, you could really sort the appalling agency out not just to satisfy yourself but also for the sake of all the lonely people who have to grin and bear the **** (often literally no doubt) because they have no-one to speak up for them.

    So all this is somewhere on one of my many mental and physical lists of things I'll get round to eventually (and probably on other people's) and the agency sails on, bringing in loadsamoney for its wealthy owners and adding to people's misery.

    The attitude of the SW is unforgivable. Perhaps you could start there.
     
  9. Flake

    Flake Registered User

    Mar 9, 2015
    222
    Oh thank you all, I was convinced it was me being too fussy. In the past I have worked in care and know how difficult things can be but I have never served out of date food or skipped on anything I was supposed to do. The Care Agency have 3 half hour visits per day, to begin with I helped by washing up, getting food ready but not any more. I just wait to see how little they do! and yes I am logging everything, hence the comment that 'every other day I am sending e-mails and they cant do anything right'. Some visits are longer than the allocated time and some shorter. My mum is self funding but it is managed by Social Services as I thought I would have some support if anything went wrong. I have found another Care Agency who specialise in dementia who are willing to work with my Mum and I informed the Social Worker of this. It is he who wants a meeting with the Care Agency as I have to give 28 days notice (followingby the rating bit!). I am now so relieved that I am not alone. Thank you all for your comments , it is very much appreciated xx
     
  10. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    5,737
    North East Lincs
    Well done it's hard work but worth it in the end. G L
     
  11. CeliaW

    CeliaW Registered User

    Jan 29, 2009
    5,654
    Hampshire
    Flake, I do hope you get the transfer to another agency sorted and it goes well.

    I had problems with Mum's agency and the management and found many of the problems stemmed from the management dictates to the carers. Often the manager is an ex carer who may have been good as a carer but who has been promoted beyond their capabilities.

    If your agency is part of a national chain then I would suggest that you contact the head office and ask to speak to the Quality Care Co-ordinator or whatever title they use and start by asking if you could have a copy of the care standards that they work to for home visits. Explain that you are at odds with the agency and just wish to clarify where you stand. I got to see them but my comments did trigger some changes locally and, I believe, in training and recording.

    Good luck (and I would be tempted to ask the SW if they are protecting their job or trying to make it easier for themselves or if they have a conflict of interest and have a connection with the Agency on anything other than a professional basis!)

    Take care x
     
  12. Flake

    Flake Registered User

    Mar 9, 2015
    222
    Just an update. Had a meeting the the Social Worker and Care Agency who are looking after my Mum. I had compiled a very long list of concerns. After an hour and half it was decided that the Agency would allocate 4 specific carers for my Mum, would give them extra training, and address my issues. So I slept better that night........... first Carer did not turn up for breakfast visit yesterday morning. Unbelievable really :mad:
     
  13. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,829
    UK
    Oh no, they talk the talk, but definitely do not do the walk.
     
  14. CeliaW

    CeliaW Registered User

    Jan 29, 2009
    5,654
    Hampshire
    So sorry to read this - I went there and had the t shirt with Mum's agency. My only suggestion is an email to Agency, SW and copied to Head Office/ Management of Agency and also to Adult Care Services Manager. I would do it today before they have time to formulate excuses.

    Big hugs, its dreadful - lucky for your Mum that you are there and on the ball but you shouldn't have to be doing this and it means you are always wondering if someone is going to turn up.

    Take care - if I can be of any help finding out contact details of who to complain to or in writing letters and help with wording, please pm me.

    Celia x
     
  15. little shettie

    little shettie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2009
    218
    Oh Flake, I can so identify with your post! I had similar problems with mums care agency when she lived alone. They were worse than useless! I had told them specific times for the morning call as mum was awake most of the night and only fell asleep as dawn broke so no point in them coming in before 10am. I found that they had been in early to mum one morning as I arrived at 9am to see they had already been in and written 10-11am as the time in their book! That and a million other things, not supervising mums meds, just leaving them on the table and not watching her to ensure she took them so of course she wasn't taking them. We found them in drawers, pockets, you name it! The average age of the carers was 18 I'd say and not on of them had a clue how to deal with a 95 year old lady with dementia. It was painful listening to the way they spoke to mum. My SW arranged meetings with them but to no avail and I was so unhappy with the service that I contacted the Care Quality Commission. They were helpful and said unless people like me let them know about out concerns, than many do not come to light. I changed agencies, twice more in fact until I found one that was satisfactory. Sadly I believe there are not many 'good ones' out there, they're run as a business at the end of the day and they only have to get their staff doing the bare minimum to qualify as a carer!! Scary!!
     
  16. little shettie

    little shettie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2009
    218
    Just seen your last comment. Seriously could be on a parallel with my mums agency. :mad:
     
  17. Biggest Fairy

    Biggest Fairy Registered User

    Jan 26, 2015
    37
    Inverness
    Me too!

    And now that I care for my in-laws, the agency just seem to slack off and assume I'll do things which they then get paid for! :mad:
     
  18. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    This is completely unacceptable, bad enough for your mum but anyone trying to retain their independence with no family would be doomed from the start and actually this is dangerous.
    Can I suggest that you not only complain to the Agency but also you go straight back to social services.

    I'm so sorry you can't get this resolved but part of my complaint to social services would be to insist that they change agency and lay out the conditions immediately
     

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