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.

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Dementia Friends in The Walled Gardens of Cannington Tea rooms

It was lovely to hear from Hayleigh at the Walled Gardens tea rooms today, about how attending a Dementia Friends Information session that I had run had changed her families approach to visiting granddad who has Dementia.

Hayleigh attended the walled gardens staff session and had taken on board one of the messages in the Bookcase analogy. Her family had been in two minds about visiting. However after Hayleigh explained to them what she had learnt about the different parts of the brain, and seeing the person as more than their Dementia, they have started to visit more often.

Job Done! Nice one Hayleigh.

For those who haven’t attended a session, see the video below.

To find out more: www.dementiafriends.org.uk

Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone has had a happy and restful break. I certainly did, but have had to cram a couple of weeks work into five days in order to catch up!

Hence the lateness of the greeting.

One of the things that makes Christmas for me is the BBC.

It all starts with the Christmas Radio Times, and then Carols From Kings, The Reith lectures, The Royal Society Christmas Lectures and delightfully this year Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens!

The Reith Lectures by Professor Atul Gawande were a huge pleasure this year and I can highly recommend them.

Click here to go the BBC website to listen to them

The first lecture explores the topic of why doctors fail, and explores the factors which affect medicine, Ignorance (lack of knowledge) and Ineptitude (failure to use existing knowledge).

The second lecture is titled the century of the system,  and interestingly describes some simple systems that care and nursing homes would do well to copy.

Lecture three is about the problem of hubris and looks at the issues of aging and death and how society has a problem recognising the limits of what professionals can do.

The final lecture the idea of wellbeing is for me the highlight, and explores ideas around end of life care and assisted dying.

If nothing else, for me, the whole series re enforces the importance of the fact that people providing care need to care. A simple concept,but one that’s often overlooked.

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.

CQC Sandwich Generation Survey

I covered this story briefly earlier in the month when it was featured on BBC Radio Four’s You and Yours.
It’s a really useful piece of work though, so I thought I would cover it in further depth.

CQC commissioned Mumsnet and Gransnet to carry out a survey of the users of their sites. They were in particular looking for those that are described as the Sandwich Generation.

These are people who described as juggling caring for children and older relatives.

Eight out of ten people surveyed identified choosing care as major source of stress. Going as far as describing it as more stressful than divorce, separation, choosing a school, getting married or buying a house!

I have always described the process of finding good quality care as minefield. This survey clearly re enforces this.

Whilst I take no satisfaction in the fact that finding good care is so hard, clearly all care should be good! It is refreshing to see the CQC tasking steps to gain views and improve the information they provide. The infographic they provide shows what people want to now about care providers. All of which are included in one of my reports.

www.scotting.org/services.html

If you need some help and advice call my freephone line 0800 0016694 always happy to help .

sandwich-generation-survey-infographic-011014

Heres a link to the report on CQC website.

http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/sandwich-generation-carers-say-choosing-care-one-lifes-most-stressful-events

 

 

 

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/

CQC to publish guidance on using CCTV in care homes

There has been a lot of noise about this issue in the press for some time, and last week it blew up again with CQC announcing the possibility of publishing of guidelines on the use of CCTV in care homes.

Here’s the headline from The Daily Mail 6th October:

Families given official green light to spy on care home staff if they fear their elderly relatives are being abused

I think the CQC position is more nuanced than that, but in effect will sanction families and employers using cameras to spot abuse.

I have made my thoughts on this clear several times since it was first mooted. In a nutshell they are-

1-CCTV will not prevent abuse.
2- CCTV is useful in gaining convictions where abuse is suspected.
3-Better recruitment, retention, training and pay will reduce abuse.

My views are echoed elsewhere, The Guardian on the 8th October ran a piece with the title

CCTV in care homes: secret cameras are not the way to improve care

Rather than allow covert filming, the Care Quality Commission should focus on driving up standards

The main thrust of the article is about the underlying causes of bad care, and I would agree, these need to be addressed as opposed to using CCTV to spot the symptoms.

The full article can be found here-

http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2014/oct/08/cctv-care-homes-secret-cameras-improve-care

The CQC statement can be found at-

http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/statement-about-use-cameras-monitor-care