Elderly Long Stay Continuing Care wards

ElaineMaul

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
333
60
Hi,
Perhaps I'm being very thick but I am having trouble finding the answers to my questions on the Internet.

My query is about elderly long stay continuing care wards being run within the NHS system.

OK ..... if I was looking for information about an ordinary care home or nursing home, I'd look at the Care Quality Commission website and look at their inspection reports. Yes, I know following the Gerry Robinson's TV programme, I was left wondering exactly how effective their inspection process is! However, it's a start! And it gives you some 'yard-stick'.

Also .... it provides the security (real or not?) that a home is being inspected regularly by an independent body.

So .... my query .... is the same thing done for elderly long stay continuing care wards in the NHS? Who is responsible for standards there? How can I access any reports that might be produced? Are they supposed to operate under the same framework as ordinary care and nursing homes? Think that will do for starters! :)

Any information gratefully received!

Elaine
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847
Hi Elaine,

My understanding is that the CQC regualtes the lot, health and social care:

http://www.cqc.org.uk/aboutcqc/whatwedo/activitiesweregulate.cfm

I have no idea what standards and methods they use to regulate NHS wards like the one your dad is on.

Perhaps the answer is on their website, but maybe it's worth asking them the question directly and seeing how they reply?

Take care,
 

ElaineMaul

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
333
60
Yes, I think you are right .... but I probably have to confess that I've been trying to gather information without contacting too many 'official' people!

Which sounds a bit 'cloak and dagger' but I will explain!

It's so easy to go to the CQC website and get all the reports for care homes. You can read the latest and past ones and get a feel for how things have changed (or not!). But I just can't find anything easily about wards!

A fellow relative told me before Christmas that you can request that 'inspectors' go in at any time. I'm not sure if she meant the CQC or not. However, if I am really honest I'm scared of doing a 'Gerry Robinson' on this ward! Do you recall ..... his programme had the very best of intentions but in the 2nd programme, the home with 'issues' ended up being closed down? OK ..... it did hint that there was some sort of police issue and it wasn't just the programme. However, not the best of outcomes for those poor people who ended up being moved.

And .... off thread here .... I really do wonder what happened to them? Does anyone know?

Anyhow, I'm not really saying that where Dad is is THAT bad, but I am interested in seeing what an independent, objective outsider thinks!

There is also an issue which raised its head last November/December that the local PCT that is funding the ward is 'reviewing whether all the people currently there are really having their needs met there or whether they can be better met elsewhere'. If I am being charitable, I could think they are genuine in this! However, I'm a cynic! I think this is a cost cutting exercise. There are a number of people there who have been there for a long time and I am very worried about what a move might do to them. So, if I am seen to 'rock the boat' too hard, I'm worried about the consequences.

Caught between a rock and a hard place?

In addition, there is a 'Friends' organisation for the ward. There were two ladies running it. The husband for one died a long time ago but she carried on. The father for the other passed away just before Christmas. They both want to give up and I have said I will head it up as I really don't want it to fold. In actual fact, via the 'Friends', with the help of the local Alzheimer's branch, they have gradually over time influenced a lot of changes for the better. It gives relatives a mechanism for raising concerns without 'exposing' themselves too much, if you know what I mean!

So .... I have been trying to gather more information just to help with this.

Elaine
 

JPG1

Account Closed
Jul 16, 2008
3,396
Elaine,

You'll like this reply NOT!

But I don't think that any ward is independently inspected/regulated/reports published.

I have only ever found on the CQC website overall satisfaction survey figures and that kind of info.

Have a look here - http://www.cqc.org.uk/usingcareservices/healthcare/patientsurveys/hospitalcare/inpatientservices.cfm

and you may find out how your local Hospital Trust scored.

As far as I know, the CQC are only about to register and regulate the NHS but they haven't started yet.

I suppose you could always ask the Dept. of Health - in an anonymous sort of way, whether anyone carries out independent inspections of NHS wards. Tel: 0207 210 4850

Or your 'confidential' PALS office should be able to tell you.

Good luck - and please let us know what you find out.
 

ElaineMaul

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
333
60
Thank you JPG1.

Although the CGC site hints that they aught to be the place for information, when I couldn't find any detail, I was afraid your answer was the reality of the situation!

I will certainly keep you informed.

The sad thing is, when I was talking to one of the ladies who was running the 'Friends', she said she worries sometimes that they hadn't done enough to improve things! That Guilt Monster again!

As it is, they have raised money to buy curtains and other things to make it more homely and, from what she describes, have gradually suggested and seen implemented changes.

However, it doesn't seem at all satisfactory that a 'gently, gently' approach has to be taken! If you know what I mean!

Elaine
 

JPG1

Account Closed
Jul 16, 2008
3,396
My understanding is that the CQC regualtes the lot, health and social care:

.... maybe it's worth asking them the question directly and seeing how they reply?
Done that. And asked a few more questions too.

We have now 15 working days to wait for a reply.

Shall post full reply, eventually.
 

ElaineMaul

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
333
60
Hi JPG1,
Thank you for asking. Much appreciated!

Definately helpful that the question comes from someone else!

I have recently realised that, with my distinctive surname, I probably should have made my user name on this forum more obscure. I've certainly taken out where I live as otherwise, I think someone could work out where I'm talking about. You never know who may monitor the 'conversations' on here!

Of course, I could be paranoid ..... and showing the early stages of a certain disease :eek:

Elaine
 

JPG1

Account Closed
Jul 16, 2008
3,396
Well, Elaine, it didn't take 15 days as predicted in the auto-reply-acknowledgment, but I think the real answer is still : no!

Here's the reply:

The services you are enquiring about are regulated under the NHS annual health check, the hospital trust is assessed as a whole for the services they provide. The ward itself will be included as part of this assessment, the assessment process has remained the same since the NHS was assessed by out predecessor The Healthcare Commission.

In order to access NHS organisation performance ratings you will need to click on the link below, you will need to enter the name or the postcode of the trust the hospital ward belongs to.


http://2009ratings.cqc.org.uk/findcareservices/informationabouthealthcareservices/overallperformance.cfm

If you require any information please do not hesitate to contact us.

.....

CQC didn't answer all the questions I asked - but I think it would be safe to say that any one ward may be given a cursory annual inspection, but not an in-depth inspection. A 'hospital trust' is a fairly large animal, so the likelihood of more than a surface-scratch is minimal, I would think. I'd like to be proven wrong on that.

Sorry, Elaine, that's probably not the comforting answer you were looking for - but it's the best available.
 

ElaineMaul

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
333
60
Hi JPG1,
Thank you so much for getting that information. I really appreciate you doing that for me.

Well .... the answer wasn't a surprise! But it isn't right, is it? I wonder how many long term wards there are around the country which are effectively care/nursing homes but which are not subject even to the inspection regime from the CQC? How many people does this cover?

Is this not a loophole which needs closing?

Elaine
 

Flower_fairy

Registered User
Jan 22, 2010
39
Lancashire
As far as I was aware all the long stay hospital wards were shut down some years ago? There are now only assessment wards and care of the dying? x
 

ElaineMaul

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
333
60
Hi Flower_Fairy,

Well, in the Mental Health Trust which covers where my Dad lives, they have at least 2 ...... my Dad is in one and the other one is a relatively brand new unit just 100-150yds away from where he is!

I can't off-hand recall where on the Internet I managed to find a full list, but they may have others 'stashed away' on other sites.

Elaine