If you are concerned about something that happened in the course of your mother's care, and are considering making a complaint, you might want to look at the complaints procedure as laid out on the Commission for Social Care Inspection's web site:
I have no first-hand expereince of this process, but I have been using their site to read care home inspection reports. These inspection reports also include an indication of whether or not complaints that have been made against a particular home.
In the past I have always found the Inspector at Care Standards (CSCI) who had special responsibility for the care home was very approachable and friendly and helpful. There is usually one inspector who does all of the Inspections (2 a year) of each home - so that there is continuity and he or she can start building up a picture of the home - in all its complexities. They are very aware that their visits & Inspections only give them a snapshot of the home & what goes ton here but they receive letters, tel calls all the time & know a great deal about the home. They also keep everything totally confidential.
You can easily find out who the Inspector for any care home is from the website Sandy has given - the CSCI. Then you could give them a call - you may find a duty Inspector answers the call or a receptionsit but if you wish to speak to a particular Inspector that can be arranged.
I believe (only my opinion here) that every care home resident has the right to see their own records, just as we have the right to ask for all our health records now - (I understand there can be a charge for providing these !!) - that includes all important Care Plans - and of course in the case of a resident who needs someone to lookafter their affairs or advocate for them (as all our relatives here do) then their next of kin or carer can act for them & request to see records.
The other thing you might find useful is an Advocacy Service - at a time when emotions run very high it is difficult to stay relaxed (putting it mildly - from experience I speak !) adn when dealing with care homes & you are on your own - its not easy (again have had lot of experience - lonely experience) - ther eare organisations that will offer services of an advocate who can accompany you & speak for you if necessary - they remain totally unprejudiced & are there simply to make sure your views are made clear and that you understand what has been said too (thats my interpretation anyhow) - its hard doing these things on your own. If you are - try to write everything down as it happens and take someone with you if you can. Take care.
thankyou for all replys.
I just need to read mums file, just for me to start with. IF there should be anything amiss then I will have to think what to do.I am not part of the "sueing society".
I think it will help me to read it as part of the grieving process.
As mum died 3 weeks ago where would her records be now?
I understand that to read ones own GP records costs £50! Putting off for some!
My guess is that care homes have to keep all records for a certain time, would think it was months if not years - for some very practical reasons - any enquiries by Social Services re finances or to redirect any mail that comes for the deceased person etc etc
I'm sure care homes are used to close relatives wanting to come back & talk - to go through what happened or just go over or clear up anything - big or small. It might be an idea to phone up when it is a good time for you - to see if the Manager is available - it needs to be a good time for you and her/him. If it was me I wouldnt want to fix it up too far in advance - better to ring on off chance manager is available - I remember feeling very different form one day ot next - even hour to hour . And - Managers are used to prospective residents or family turing up on doorstep to view & dont often turn people away !
Having said all that - if yo can make it early afternon - say after 2.00 - from visitng care homes for over 7 years that often a good time - a quiet time , just after change over of staff & everyoone is having a nap after lunch & all the chores have been done in am.
Hope thats of some help & thinking of you - hope you feel better after. Sometimes it does help to talk to more people & to do something positive.
If that is the case then it would only be a very awkward nursing home which would deny you access and you could make a complaint about this to the Commission for Social Care Inspection, helpline number : 0845 015 0120.
It depends what you want the records for I guess but there should not really be a problem with gaining access and they certainly should be kept for more than three weeks.