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Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Care Homes should Care

To quote Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC “Care homes are people’s homes. They, their family and friends should not live in fear of being penalised for raising concerns”.  “Good providers know this and we see plenty of excellent practice where managers and staff respond to complaints positively and make sure it is as easy as possible for people to visit their loved ones in a welcoming, friendly environment”.

This clearly was not adhered to in a recent report in the press.

Devout nun and former nurse, 67, escorted from nursing home by COPS and banned from returning after helping elderly friend outof bed to change

In November 2016, the CQC even released Information for people on their visiting rights in care homes.  This document stated that the CQC had published information for people living in care homes, their family and friends clarifying their visiting rights and our expectations of providers who are responsible for ensuring people are supported to maintain relationships that are important to them.

But was totally left in ambiguity.

What is the message that the care home is sending when it called the Police on a 67-year-old nun for supposedly breaching health and safety by moving her friend to help he get dressed into clean clothes?  The home clearly in breach of common sense and the CQC’s own guidelines tried to show themselves in a better light by claiming the forceful action was necessary because the nun had “violated approved safeguarding procedures” by helping Parkinson’s Disease sufferer Nora out of bed.

Firstly, there was no crime committed.  The police should have directly addressed this with the home, the service manager and those responsible for calling them.  Those people need to be charged with wasting police time and resources which is actually a crime.

In England and Wales, one can be charged with the offence under Section 5(2) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 when one "causes any wasteful employment of the police" by "knowingly making to any person a false report" which:
(1)    Shows that a criminal offence has been committed,
(2)    Creates apprehension for the safety of any persons or property, or
(3)    Indicates that they have information material to any police inquiry.

But it didn’t end there, no the home called the police a second time just days later when the nun and former nurse drove her friends partner, Sean Corry, 84, back to the BUPA owned care home for a visit.  The nun claims she was made to wait by the front door for 45 minutes while police were called again to escort her from the premises.

Concerns had already been made to the CQC when the nun reported the home to the CQC in 2015 after becoming concerned for her friend’s welfare.  And the home had received a “requires improvement” rating after inspectors found several breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. 

According to BUPA Managing Director Kay Cox said: “We take all complaints made to our homes very seriously and immediately investigated these concerns.  “We work closely with the council’s safeguarding team who have reviewed the situation and are confident we have taken all the right steps to ensure the service users safety.  “We have strict rules to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents and lifting residents requires two trained care home staff. We therefore always ask all visitors to our homes not to attempt to lift residents from their beds and instead ask for assistance from our carers.”

What I want to know and the CQC should be demanding to know is the statement “We therefore always ask all visitors to our homes not to attempt to lift residents from their beds”, do the care home explain to residents, their families and friends that if they do lift residents from their beds the police will be called and they will be banned from the premises?  Is that made clear to everyone?

And remember that the CQC state in their own press release Making a complaint should not cause problems.  Staff should seek your views and the views of your loved one.  A good, open relationship with staff is best for your loved one and more importantly visiting someone can help improve their care

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