Is this right?


Registered User
Dec 28, 2009
yorkshire region

Sorry Im here again asking for advice...

Been to visit my mom this afternoon and she absolutely smells of wee...poor mom..she would be mortified if she knew what was happening to her..anyhow I changed her and made her clean and dry...found a dirty flannel on her bedroom floor which I took to the carer...her en suite loo was I had to clean it...and then the carer complained to me that because of the snow here today..only 4 memeber of staff turned in to work..this is a 60 bed home...3/4 of the residents are like my mom...they have dementia...then the carer informed me that the cleaning and domestic staff have had to help wash and dress the residents...

I find this appauling to be staff washing and dressing folk...surely this cant be right..or is it..I told my sister and we said maybe we need to speak with the manager or someone in authority and make it plain that we dont want mom being cared for by cleaning staff...short staffed or not..

Is this normal procedure in care homes when they have limited staff or not? Also the other day my sister had to stay over to help the carer out with the meal at 5pm as there wasnt enough staff on then either...

This is my first experience of a care has only been there just over a week..and so far..I'm not impressed by what I have seen...maybe I am being too over protective of mom..I dont know..but never the less..I am not impressed...



Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Caroline, I find it appalling too!

Snow or no snow, there's no excuse for that level of understaffing. There are agencies who could supply carers at short notice -- though that would cost!

I certainly think you should talk to the manager and query staffing levels. And hygiene too!:eek:


Registered User
Nov 9, 2008
South Coast UK
It sounds wrong to me.

Each CH should have contingency arrangements for low staff due to weather/illness etc - and should be able to call additional staff in to assist if necessary. I think most people can accept that there will be emergencies etc, but it should not be a regular occurrence.

My worry would be that if only 4 turned in, and THEN there was an accident/resident fell ill etc, how would the 3 that were left cope (and would those 3 be adequately trained and equipped)

I would call and speak to the manager tomorrow.


Account Closed
Jul 16, 2008

This is a horrible situation for you to find yourself and your Mum having to deal with.

You must speak with the Care Home manager a.s.a.p.

It is not acceptable for cleaning/domestic staff to be carrying out such personal care. In fact, most cleaning staff will not even have been CRB checked, let alone trained, which would make it completely illegal.

Above all, it could be positively dangerous.

Speak to the manager tomorrow. And if you get no joy, then call the CQC and report it, and ask for their input.

I feel for you, because this is definitely not acceptable care.


Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
Hi Caroline,

I definitely think it is worth talking to the manager about your concerns.

This is a newly-opened home - is that right? And they have already made changes to the registration details to take on more people in need of dementia care?

The make-it or break-it factor of any home, and perhaps even more so with a newly-established home, is the manager. The manager sets the standards and determines the sense of purpose, the ethos of the home.

Seeing how he/she copes with critical feedback and plans for emergencies will tell you a lot about their ability to do such a essential job.

There are going to be teething problems in any new home, so to some extent you are having to deal with more unknowns than in the case of a home with an established team and a well-embedded caring and compassionate culture.

The main worry that I would have is that the short-comings that might initially be due to teething problems could gradually become seen as 'the norm' and be perpetuated. An excellent manager would not let this happen. A poor manager would just be swept along with the tide.

Take care,


Registered User
Dec 28, 2009
yorkshire region

Well been into see the home manager and expressed our concerns to her...she said she would have a word with the carers about dressing mom smartly and properly every for the staff shortage....I told her I was horrified at the thought of the domestic staff caring for the residents..and her reply was that everyone in the building was trained in the same way to deal with the residents in times of adverse weather and emergency situations...and that was it...

So I'm still not impressed to be honest...but we have to give them a chance now...if things persist in the way they have been doing lately...then I shall not be so 'nice' about complaining next time..let me tell you...

But thanks to everyone who offered me advice...much much appreciated...

Best wishes to all



Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
I would give the home a reasonable time - say a month - and record everything in diary form writing everything which is wrong about the care your mum is getting each time you visit. If after the month you are still very unhappy I would send my list as a letter of complaint to the home, the CQC, a copy to your local LINKs organisation and a copy to the social worker involved with your mum.

I would also be looking in the meantime for other care homes in your area and finding one which you like. Then put her name down on their list!


Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
At least they have a backup plan for emergencies. Personally, I would have no problem with cleaning or other staff assisting with my mother's personal care, but my mother has been in her nursing home for going on 7 years now, and I know everybody and they know me. You have just started at this home so that's quite different.

I think giving it more time and noting anything you think needs to be corrected is a good idea.


Registered User
Jul 20, 2008
Hi Poppy,

I have only just caught up with your thread and am glad that you found the advice and support that you wanted.

In fact, most cleaning staff will not even have been CRB checked, let alone trained,
This was my first thought and I feel it vitally important that you ask this question of the Manager/ess. The training bit has been answered but the CRB part was not mentioned in your post:eek:

Love and best wishes


Registered User
Jan 22, 2010
I think that it is unacceptale that the home did not have enough staff to look after the residents, you would have expected that the night staff would have helped dress the patients before going hom if people were calling in due to the weather. Although it is not right for cleaning staff to be helping with hygiene and dressing, every person who works with vulneralbe adults will have at least a POVA 1 which is a check to see they have not been convicted of any offences with the age group they are looking after, after all they are in close working proximities with the residents every day whether they dress them or not. I would agree with documenting all issues you have with the home as if they are needed they will become your evidence. Perhaps discuss with other residents families discretely if they have found any issues themselves. opefully this is just due to the adverse weather and wont become a regular occurance, I think under the circumstances it was nice the staff pulled together (no matter what their job was) to get the residents dressed.
There is no excuse for anyone to smell of urine though and if this happens again I would certainly go to the manager.