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?

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

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

Local Government Ombudsman finds council top up fee policy to be illegal

The subject of third party top up fees is one I’m often asked about.
More often than not the people involved in working out who owes what to who, do not have enough information and experience to work it out correctly.
This story shows how one council got it wrong, by effectively requiring a lady to top up her own fees, which is against the law. (National Assistance Act 1948)
Underpinning the argument here is the basis of funding for health and social care. Health care-Free at the point of delivery. Social care-Means tested. This political hot potato is one that the political parties have been juggling at their conferences in recent months.

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2014/10/03/ombudsman-criticises-council-forcing-resident-pay-unlawful-care-home-top/ For the full story

http://www.scotting.org for more on paying for care

You and Yours 7th October 2014

You and Yours have been producing some good coverage of the care sector for some time now. I particularly liked todays episode as it repeats one of my key messages to people. Always get good advice when looking for care. Odd to see CQC taking this position, but also refreshing to see them taking a real world view of the whole picture.

How easy did you find it to get good quality care for your elderly parents or relatives? The Care Quality Commission says it is one of the most stressful things we’ll face in life.

We’ll ask why is it so difficult and what can be done to make it better.

Guests will include the Care Quality Commission and Carers UK.

Web users click here for full story

For those reading in print the programme can be found at- http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04kbjhx

And don’t forget advice, help and information is available on my website-www.scotting.org

Elderly woman died after suffering burns in nursing home bath

This is a very sad story, and my heart goes out to this ladie’s family.

However I can’t help feeling it further shows up the defficiencies in care and nursing home regulation.

The story has been reported by the Health and Safety Executive, after a now dissolved company was found to be negligent.

http://press.hse.gov.uk/2014/elderly-woman-died-after-suffering-burns-in-nursing-home-bath/?ebul=hsegen&cr=15/29-sep-14

The worrying element is that highlighted by the magistrate. The directors of the company have walked away from this with a £5,000 fine. Which may or may not be paid by the company, as its now dissolved.

So what is to stop these clearly unsuitable people starting up a new home, if they haven’t already done so?

NOTHING!

My Care Service Report and Select-a-Home service will always look into the Directors of care companies and their past. www.scotting.org