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Panorama - Undercover: Elderly Care

Chemmy

Registered User
Nov 7, 2011
7,591
Yorkshire
One practical solution could be for relatives to spend more time in the CH in a volunteer capacity, perhaps helping with activities, in the same way that mums are encouraged to help out in classrooms.

Spending time with the staff, being 'one of the team', would be a very good way to get a feel for what's going on, and would give a good opportunity to quietly observe.

One lady who's parent is in my mum's CH took a part-time job there for pretty much that reason but her mother is just as anxious and upset, even when her daughter is working there. It's clearly the stage she's at in her illness, not the care she's receving in the home.
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,095
Bolton
One practical solution could be for relatives to spend more time in the CH in a volunteer capacity, perhaps helping with activities, in the same way that mums are encouraged to help out in classrooms.

Spending time with the staff, being 'one of the team', would be a very good way to get a feel for what's going on, and would give a good opportunity to quietly observe.


I couldn't agree more. I cannot stress enough how much relatives need to play a full and active part in the welfare of their relatives when in a care home setting. Far too many relatives do not seem to want, or seem afraid of, becoming actively involved. Any care home who does not welcome such involvement would immediately be raising alarm bells in my head.

But alongside this essential relative involvement in the care home, we need to have nationally qualified staff whose efforts are recognised in their pay packet and who are managed effectively, no matter how big or small the organisation.

In order to safeguard residents who do not have relatives watching over care the CQC needs to inspect at least twice a year, one a full inspection of all paperwork and once to observe the interraction between staff and staff, staff and residents, staff and management. This is the only way to check that the ethos amongst the staff complies with the true spirit of CQC regulations. The CQC should also be using 'lay inspectors' or 'inspectors by experience' who think outside the culture of the CQC and who have a wealth of experience to offer which has been gained from 'the other side of the fence'.

CQC also bear the guilt for not properly investigating complaints made to them. Anyone who complains on behalf of residents should be delat with courteously and dilligently, not in an offhand and dismissive manner.

I've written about the above for years on TP now and echo other posters in asking, when will it all be put right?

xxTinaT
 

Chemmy

Registered User
Nov 7, 2011
7,591
Yorkshire
Any organisation can perform twice a year for an inspection, that's the problem, and I don't see a way round that.

Let's get the relatives in there and they can the be the eyes and ears, and if necessary, the whistleblowers - much better than another level of bureaucracy and something that could be implemented at minimal cost tomorrow.
 

handyjack

Registered User
Oct 6, 2011
151
I can see from the comments, not a lot of us have anything good to say about the CQC. When they came into our care home for an unannounced inspection last year, I was surprised that the assessor concentrated more on whether paperwork was up to date and records were complete. Admittedly, the inspector spent some time in both lounges, watching the carers going about their work, but in the main, most time was spent in the office going through a mountain of paperwork. I do feel that a lot of paperwork could and should be simplified, and the amount of paperwork can and should be reduced. The amount of time spent doing paperwork in both the care industry and health professions, is time that should be spent, caring and nursing.
One thing I find unbelievable with the CQC though is, the fact that they don't state minimum staffing levels in care and nursing homes, yet set minimum standards of care. Nowhere on their website (or the internet) will you find mention of staffing levels,. Save the fact that they say staffing levels should be appropriate So what do you consider to be appropriate?
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,095
Bolton
I again agree wholeheartedly Chemmy but until and unless relatives do this very thing we have to fight to get the right kind of inspections being done. And relatives need to be aware of those residents who do not have a relative to watch over them.

The only way relatives can do this vital job is if the care homes allow this. Personally I would make it known BEFORE my relative went into a care home that the management understood and complied with my demand that I be actively involved in all aspectys of the care of my relative..

I still feel that there should also be a government body such as the CQC to inspect because as a relative of just one resident , I would not be able to check that care plans were being complied with or medication plans being completed for other residents who did not have regular visits from relatives. I cannot ask to see these as a non relative because of the laws on privacy and confidentiality.

Only a body such as the CQC have the rights and powers to thoroughly check all aspects of care. Where the CQC have gone wrong is because there was too much emphasis on the registration process and not enough inspections were being undertaken. Likewise complaints were not being properly dealt with. I also feel that more 'lay inspectors should be working alongside CQC inspectors The lay inspectors could concentrate on the observation s and the CQC inspectors concentrate on the paperwork. Then a full and clearer report could be complied.

Paperwork is important in order to keep a check on what care a resident is recieving. I once asked a carer what a resident had eaten (or not eaten) for breakfast. She had no idea because she had not been on duty in the morning. All carers need to have a good 'hand over' period of time where staff from a previous shift can pass on information to the next shift. The only way to do this is through what they have recorded about residents.

The inspection reporting procedures also need to be more clear and 'user friendly' because at the moment the published reports on their website are less than useless for anyone wishning to find out about a care home.

xxTinaT
 
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jimbo 111

Registered User
Jan 23, 2009
5,080
North Bucks
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"One thing I find unbelievable with the CQC though is, the fact that they don't state minimum staffing levels in care and nursing homes, yet set minimum standards of care. Nowhere on their website (or the internet) will you find mention of staffing levels,. Save the fact that they say staffing levels should be appropriate So what do you consider to be appropriate?
Well said mate
But when we put our names on a government petition it got a miserable response
(excepting of course those who did sign)
jimbo 111
 

Boudeca2007

Registered User
Oct 29, 2011
92
Sadly relatives cannot be with their loved ones 24/7 in a care home setting. I visited my Mum on a regular basis [ as did the lady in the Panorama prog ] and naturally the staff would put their best face on when we were there !! I also read her care notes at every visit and if I were not happy with something then I noted that in her care notes. For example the lady on the Panorama prog instructed the home that she wanted only a female nurse/carer to wash her mother but clearly that instruction was ignored when the male nurse / carer washed this poor defenseless lady and proceeded to slap her . I also asked the care home to remove a low table from her room as Mum would not see it and trip over it. It was still there when I next visited I had to physically take it to the carer and ask them to place it anywhere else other than my Mums room !! I also asked them to stop noteing in their notes that Mum was using ' sign language ' to communicate. She has never been able to sign [ even before dementia ].

What I want to say is that we can instruct the care home manager till we are blue in the face but that does not mean to say that these instructions are carried out. It is well beyond the relatives control what does actually happen when they are not there.

And the day staff whom we see when we visit durng the day can be totally different to the night staff. I have said all through the nearly 10 years my Mum was in nursing homes that CCTV should be installed in every room then we could see [ via web cam ] how our relatives were really being treat.
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,095
Bolton
A timely reminder Jimbo!!

Here is the petition website for signatures:

https://submissions.epetitions.direc.../signature/new

To anyone reading this current thread I would ask please, please sign. I know a million signatures are needed and we are probably whistling in the wind but as I keep on saying, 'from little acorns, mighty oak trees grow'

Boudica - perhaps we should be setting up a petition for CCTV webcams linked to a website which we could access with our own individual, private password. NOW THAT SOUNDS A MASSIVE STEP FORWARD!!

xxTinaT
 
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grove

Registered User
Aug 24, 2010
7,723
North Yorkshire
Well Said Tina T ( Post 70 ) ! ! & thank you Tina T

Hello Everybody & Tina T , Can see this "Thread " has become a bit of a "debate " about good care in Care & N Homes ! Nothing wrong in that ! & agree with what Tina T has "Posted " about C Q C & other things ( post 70 ) Am a Kitchen Asst in a E M I N Home & we have had 2 C Q C Inspections ( new Manager etc ) & from what i can "gather " they are keen for the "Carer's " to do more Pen Pushing ( tho agree its important ! ! ) than "real caring " & am sure we could do with more Care Staff ! & like others have signed the "Petition"

Did NOT watch Panorama because just did not want to ! ( tho saw a tiny bit on the T V News )

Love Grove x
 

Notwaving

Registered User
Mar 5, 2010
173
Somerset
Watched it last night

I thought should I watch it,when feeling so depressed. I watched with my sister, we both cried. Went to visit Mum in C.H. They were all talking about it. I thought good, it hi lighted what was not acceptable.Not just down right abuse but the small things like not talking to the person you are washing or feeding.
Trouble is you can't train compassion, you are either a caring warm person or you are not.I think care workers can get desensitized and forget that these people they are caring for were once (and still are really) funny, clever,brave, wise and loving people.
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,095
Bolton
Large care companies go out to the Philippian Islands or other such overseas places where labour is cheap and the culture is very different to England - contract new employees and ship them back to England. They are then given the basic training on using hoists etc., paid the minimum wage of £6.50 and Bob's your uncle, there we have it in a nutshell. A disaster waiting to happen!! How can CRB checks be made on newly arrived foreign workers?

Until and unless we have a government registration process in place for all care home workers, with nationally recognised qualifications as mandatory, better pay scales than £6.50 an hour, and more public recognition that the profession of caring is valued in our society, then sadly, things will never change.
By nationally recognised, mandatory qualifications I'm not talking about university degrees but about basic caring including dignity and respect and some understanding of dementia.

Refresher courses are needed in most professions. How can care workers go on year in and uear out caring for some very difficult people without being given refresher courses which not only remind them of their duty of care but also do the very thing they are supposed to do, remotivate and energise the workforce.

I'm flying my kite high here but the stakes are high! Until we get the above, I'm afraid that we will never be able to say, hand on heart, as a nation, we have done all that any civilised society can do to prevent any recurrance of this abuse.

xxTinaT
 
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Chemmy

Registered User
Nov 7, 2011
7,591
Yorkshire
I think you'd have to be very careful before allowing CCTV in resident's bedrooms. That's huge invasion of personal space, even if done for the right reasons. Are you then going to insist on cameras in the bathrooms as well?

And who would monitor them? It'd take a long time to trawl through 24/7 footage, looking for an incident.
 

Notwaving

Registered User
Mar 5, 2010
173
Somerset
'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'
Edmund Burke

You fly your kite Tina T. I'm with you all the way
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,095
Bolton
I was a little tongue in cheek about accessible camera footage but I do think there is some mileage in the idea!

All necessary permisions would have to be made and perhaps randome periods of footage with cameras coming on and off at varying times. I wasn't thinking of bathrooms but more of private bedrooms as in the footage on Panorama. The public rooms are open to the public and therefore relatives are free to visit in person and observe first hand what is happening.

We are watched by cameras in Boots, supermarkets, train stations, in fact in all public places. Why would it be impossible for limited use of cameras in care home bedrooms? With modern technology the footage could easlily be restricted to password access.

xxTinaT
 

danny

Registered User
Sep 9, 2009
3,342
cornwall/real name is Angela
It isn`t just about the carers. Change has got to come from the top. Directors/management have to be on the shop floor more often.Care companies have to be more accountable.
Most of you know that I am a care provider. I worry,I have sleepless nights, are any of my carers not meeting standards. I rely on other staff whistle blowing,I rely on vigorous training including dignity in care,I rely on my senior staff sharing my passion and if anything is done wrong I haul them over the coals so to speak.
I rely on constant feedback from relatives and my senior staff.I still have sleepless nights though and sometimes I don`t want to be a care provider any more.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
The thing is you couldn't make it global though could you? As in not in every bedroom. Because while most of us here are people with loved ones who have or had dementia, not everyone in care homes have dementia. I don't know what the split is, but I would suspect it may not even be 50%. Frail and vulnerable, yes, but not necessarily unable to communicate when something is wrong or remember that something nasty happened.
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,095
Bolton
Bit of a red herring here Jennifer!

We are on a site devoted to dementa and therefore I didn't think it necesary to specify that cameras might not be needed for people able to relate any untoward incidents themselves.

As you know some time back I had an incident reported to me by Ken my husband. This incident would have been very much easier to unravel if there had been camera footage.

I think the next of kin could be the ones who decide when cameras would be an asset in safeguarding the resident.

xxTinaT
 

Chemmy

Registered User
Nov 7, 2011
7,591
Yorkshire
We are watched by cameras in Boots, supermarkets, train stations, in fact in all public places. Why would it be impossible for limited use of cameras in care home bedrooms?
Well, generally we're not in a state of undress in public. Or getting our incontinence pad changed. :eek:
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,095
Bolton
As I said Chemmy, this footage would only be available to next of kin.

I don't like to think that I'm on some street camera picking my nose or any other such embarrassing act but am prepared for this unsociable act to be seen if necessary, in an open court case if I'm inadvertantly a passer by but the footage contains some criminal act.

Personal privacy of my body has been abused in a much more devastating way my opinion, if such footage shows such crushing of the human spirit by others performing degrading acts against me and such cruel persecution of both my body and my mind.

xxTinaT
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I don't think it is a red herring. My mother ended up in a nursing home with moderate stroke induced dementia but in truth, the primary reason she was there was not the brain damage but the fact that she couldn't walk. It would have been inappropriate for her to have had a camera in her bedroom.

However, my point was that I think it's a waste of effort and energy to campaign for global camera coverage in this way. Absolutely you should be able to install a camera if you wish (although I still contend that dementia doesn't necessarily mean that you don't have any rights to privacy). Also Chemmy's point about what is public and what is private is well made I feel.

What I get irritated by is care homes (and other care organizations ) that take the position that cameras can't be allowed because it infringes on the privacy of the carers. Now there, I think you have a real case to make the point that if it's all right for shop workers (for example) to be watched all day then it's definitely OK for care workers to be watched as they perform their jobs.