The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

After much thought I have added the final section to my blog site, “The Ugly”.

I have written before about how I monitor the various media channels for stories of good and bad care. I do this so that when clients come to me looking for care I can take a more longitudinal view of a care service. This is a better way of looking at the quality of care provided than other more snapshot methods, that look only at the present.

I have always found that care service have a history and this informs the culture of care provided in the present. So the history cannot be ignored. Alongside this though it shines a light on individuals and organisations who shouldn’t be involved in the care of vulnerable people. However these people do seem to somehow manage to avoid prosecution and penalty.

I personally had one such unsavoury individual on a staff team that I took charge of. He had wriggled out of the grasp of police and social services three times, avoiding disciplinary measures from three employers. One of whom was on NHS trust, another BUPA. I am proud to say he didn’t work a day in the service when I was manager, and whilst it took two years to bring him to justice he was eventually struck off the nursing register.

So I would rather report on the good care stories, and keep the bad stories to those services who are failing, but with work and investment could be recovered.

But the Ugly does exist, in living memory the big ones like Winterbourne View, Orchid View and Parkside nursing home, stand out.

I feel it a duty to those seeking quality care to make sure these stories aren’t forgotten, and are available for reading. As well as my services to help people avoid these horror stories.

The net effect of this since I started reporting on bad care stories is that the bar has constantly been raised at one end and lowered at the other, not for the best. Good care stories are few and far between and usually end up being promotional items for individual homes. The bad care stories are about homes failing inspections,a dn as mentioned the ugly tend now be very ugly.

So please don’t lose sleep, but please be aware.

The News at Ten

Actually it was eleven when I started typing, but i thought the title might get your attention.

I was just updating my news stories, when it occurred to me that there are a limited amount of subjects that are reported on, when it comes to care.

I monitor the news on a daily basis for stories about care, that will inform my work, and help to advise people looking for good care.

Stories tend to fall into a few categories-

1-Care scandals, these are the ones that make national news, and usually involve criminal behaviour. Orchid View being the lastest example.

2-Failing care service. Usually reported in local papers with the a headline like-“Care Watchdog slams poor care” These are the stories about CQC inspections of services.

3-Stories promoting services. Again usually promoted in local press, but occasionally national when there is a special event on, such as National Care Home Open Day. Local stories tend to be of the Garden party/100th birthday variety.

4-Good care stories. These are the hens teeth ones, and are so few and far between that it’s not possible to spot a trend.

5- Finally there are the Government Policy type stories, such as the recent Care Act/Care cost Cap.

So what can we conclude from this?

Is the lack of good news stories a result of media bias, or a drought of good news in care?

I would like to think it’s media bias, but sadly I think the Bad news stories outweigh the Good.

There is clearly a need for the providers of care to pull their fingers out and focus on care quality and promoting the benefits of good care.

Listening to The Archers last night, I wonder if part of Peggy’s current unhappiness isn’t the worry about going into a care home.

Many people in later life that I speak to worry about care. Part of this worry is well founded, but part is also due to the media delight in reporting bad care.

As always I would say get some sound advice before buying any care service.

www.scotting.org/free_advice.html

A thoughtful and moving response

Thanks to my old pal Jane Harris for tweeting this blog post.

It’s easy for politicians to pontificate on subjects they have no personal experience of, but when it comes to the day to day nitty gritty of real life, I don’t think many of them would cope with the challenge.

And yet they spout nonsense about extended family and communities on a regular basis. Perhaps some of them still live in the 1950s in their heads. The rest of us live in the real world.

Also a very odd week for this particular example-Simon Hughes to come out with this, when the IPPR in their Strained Generation report, highlight a future with less family to care for an increasing number of older relatives.

Pleas read this piece here-

http://bit.ly/1iYqXyi