Hospital admissions from care homes

Hospital admissions from care homes.

Some strong words and sobering facts in this article from the British Geriatric Society blog.

Residents of care homes have complex healthcare needs, reflecting multiple long-term conditions, significant disability and advanced frailty. Care provided to this complex cohort of people is often fragmented. Day to day care services are delivered to a variable standard often with high staff turnover and limited support from the wider health system.

I would like to know about the figures for admission compared to the general population. I think they need unpicking more to allow for the possible increased vigilance and potential risk aversion of care home staff. Both of which could contribute to the higher rates of admission.

What’s going on at BUPA?

February was a busy month for me, and I didn’t get to the keyboard often. So I’m having an office day catching up with this blog.

Fist thing first check on the bad care reports for February

It may take a while, because it looks like there are a lot. Yes CQC are rolling out their new inspection model, yes they have raised the bar, but I don’t see that as an excuse for any responsible provider. Clearly those that are good and outstanding have been rated as such.

So first week in Feb, two BUPA homes in trouble.

What’s that about, when BUPA clearly have resources, don’t they?

I can guess at the answers, having experience of working for large organisations, but I wouldn’t like to post them here without a lot more evidence to back up any claims and avoid a libel case.

So in general my experience in large organisations would suggest that maybe these areas need looking into-

1-Priorities of the organisation. What is the balance between providing good care and making money?

2-Central focus. Does the centre know whats happening on the floor and vice versa?

3-Branding. Are these BUPA homes or homes that BUPA run?

Dementia Friends Press release

I’m pleased to say that Bridgwater College have kindly let me use the Walled gardens of Cannington tea rooms to run some Dementia Friends information sessions.

Me in action at a recent session in the Walled Gardens tea rooms. A Dementia Friends session for the staff and volunteers

Me in action at a recent session in the Walled Gardens tea rooms. A Dementia Friends session for the staff and volunteers

Click here to see the coverage on Walled Gardens Website

PRESS RELEASE from Bridgwater College
18 December 2014
Jenny Pearce 01278 441215

Walled Gardens of Cannington to hold free dementia training

The Walled Gardens of Cannington is to hold free training sessions for those interested in becoming Dementia Friends and learning more about dementia.

The sessions will be run by local Dementia Friends Champion Kris Scotting and held in the Gardens’ Tea Room. Members of the public can drop in to the sessions without pre-booking to find out how they can help be more dementia friendly. Alzheimer’s Society is aiming to have one million Dementia Friends by 2015, to help improve the lives of the 670,000 people currently living with the condition.

The Walled Gardens Tea Room previously held a training session for staff and volunteers which was a great success.

Rich Mullan, who works at the Gardens said, “With dementia very much in the headlines of late, I was keen to take the opportunity to learn a bit more about it. This short introduction course was a real eye opener on both a personal and business level. We hope to introduce measures within the Plant and Gift Shop and Tea Room that will help all visitors to the Gardens, to leave having enjoyed a positive experience. I would encourage anyone to attend a Dementia Friend training session, a little understanding can make a big difference.”

Jayne Alcock, Grounds and Gardens Supervisor said, “This is an important initiative in raising awareness about the difficult subject of dementia. We are keen to ensure that all sections of the community are able to enjoy the Gardens and Kris gave us some useful tips on how to improve the experience and meet the needs of visitors who may be experiencing dementia.”

The Walled Gardens will be holding the sessions on Wednesday 14, 21 and 28 January, for anyone who is interested in finding out more to attend.

Kris Scotting said, “The Dementia Friends staff and volunteer session in Cannington was fantastic and the feedback from participants was really positive. It gives me such satisfaction to speak to people about dementia and how it affects people’s every day lives.”

For more information about the Walled Gardens of Cannington, visit http://www.canningtonwalledgardens.co.uk, call 01278 655042 or email walledgardens@bridgwater.ac.uk.

Notes to editors:

Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative funded by the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office, as part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia.
Dementia Friends and Dementia Friends Champions can sign up through the Dementia Friends website http://www.dementiafriends.org.uk
Dementia Friends is currently England only. However, Alzheimer’s Society is committed to exploring how the Dementia Friends initiative might develop in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s disease. In less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051.
Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, championing the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them .
You can find out more about Alzheimer’s Society through their website http://www.alzheimers.org.uk
Press Office 08450 744 395 Email: press@alzheimers.org.uk

 

CQC State of Care report Video!

Sorry for those reading offline, but I will be covering this in print next week.

For now though here’s the video from CQC.

Welsh report is uncomfortable reading.

The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, review into the quality of life and care for older people living in care homes, A Place To Call Home, says that many people living in care homes have an “unacceptable quality of life”

Care homes are seen as places of irreversible decline, by staff, relatives, residents and commissioners.

This is a worry for many of my clients, who dread moving into a home and wish to avoid it at all costs. Such a shame when good care is out there and will enhance people’s lives.

The commissioner in her introduction says:

When older people move into a care home, all they are
doing in effect is moving from one home to another. The
word ‘home’ should mean something special, a place that
we hope will be filled with friendship, love and laughter.

Sadly this isn’t the case for the majority in Wales, and the rest of the UK.

The full report can be found here:

http://www.olderpeoplewales.com/Libraries/Uploads/A_Place_to_Call_Home_-_A_Review_into_the_Quality_of_Life_and_Care_of_Older_People_living_in_Care_Homes_in_Wales.sflb.ashx

Registered Care Home Managers

Here’s a story that’s close to my heart. Having been a Registered Manager for several years, managed the work of a group of Registered Managers as Responsible Individual, and having gained the qualification as a Registered Manager (RMA NVQ4) I feel my opinion comes from a well informed stand point.

I often say to clients that the Registered Manager accounts for 90-95% of the quality of a home. So it is important to-

1-Make sure the home or service has one.

2-Check on their qualifications and experience.

3-Find out how long they have worked in the home or service.

It’s good to see the issue being debated nationally, the headline story being that a proportion of services providing care do not have a manager registered with CQC.

This despite recent efforts by CQC to improve this figure.

Here is what the piece in the Telegraph of 10th October has to say-

More than 2,000 care homes looking after elderly or disabled adults have no registered manager, according to figures to be published this week.

The results mean that 12 per cent of all care homes in England lack the leadership required to ensure that vulnerable people, including frail pensioners with dementia, are cared for properly, according to a study to be presented at the Liberal Democrat conference on Tuesday.

Paul Burstow, the Lib Dem MP and former health minister who obtained the figures, said the figures showed that “a revolution” in care homes was needed.

There are a number of factors underlying these figures and I would like to unpick them here.

The main one in my experience being turnover of managers. The position has changed over the last decade or so, and the focus of the job is diluted by the various stakeholders that the registered Manager finds themselves pulled between. A clear example is the needs of owners to run a profitable business weighed against the needs for care. On the surface one would expect owners to be in care business out of altruistic motives, indeed this was more the case in the past. However more and more the ‘owners’ are venture capital companies more interested in the bottom line. Care decisions are overidden by financial constraints. This leads to the high turnover of registered Managers in the sector, the majority of whom come from a caring background as opposed to a business background.


Lack of support
for registered managers is another factor that influences the lack of candidates for the sector. The old saw ‘it’s lonely at the top’ is never more true than it is now for the Registered Manager. As well as the pressures from divergent stakeholders as outlined above, there is the lack of peer support due to the business model of care provision. How can one go to another registered Manager locally for support when they are in fact business rivals? The same is true of the sharing of good practice in care throughout the sector.

Finally where do these managers come from? The skill set required to be successful in these posts is quite unique. A mix of care professional, business manager, HR professional, diplomat, carer supporter, pharmacist, CQC inspector-I could go on! There is a case for the industry taking along hard look at where it recruits from, what skills and knowledge it’s looking for and how these are developed and accredited. Yes I know Skills for Care do a good job of this, but they do it from outside the industry with one foot in the political camp of the current government regulators. Does anyone tell Costa where to get their manager from and what qualifications they must have? No the market decides that, however in the market of care, the qualities needed to manage aren’t clear.

Here’s The Telegraph piece on the story

Listen to the You and Yours item here.

A busy month for bad care stories

I’m sorry to have to report that it’s been a busy month for bad care stories.

The levels of poor care, abuse and neglect in homes across the country are worrying.

Fortunately I’m not alone in highlighting the issues, and sooner or later people will have to take action.

The most upsetting aspect for me is how avoidable most of the poor care is. Common themes emerge, and if good practice was shared and encouraged, things would be better all round. Sadly in our mostly privately run, for profit, elderly care system, sharing of good practice is seen as giving away trade secrets.

So if you are looking for good quality care always get help and advice.

www.scotting.org

and to read the bad care stories- https://ksccltd.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/the-bad/