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Care Homes : Providers / Agencies : Sector News / Closures / Scandals / Police Investigations - Page 10 - Carers UK Forum

Care Homes : Providers / Agencies : Sector News / Closures / Scandals / Police Investigations

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
124 posts
Failing care homes pose bigger challenge to Wakefield Council than Brexit, report says.

The state of elderly care in the private sector was given a risk factor of 16 out of 25. Brexit was given a score of six.

The failings of private care homes pose a greater risk and challenge to Wakefield Council's operations than Brexit, a report has suggested.

A mixture of "financial instability" among care companies and a shortage of nurses has sparked fears that vulnerable adults in the district may be left without adequate help or a home.

The council's director for adults and health, Andrew Balchin, said in April this year that some private providers were abandoning the north of England, and moving south where they believe they can make more money.

It means there are now potentially fewer places in Wakefield for elderly and disabled people to go if they need round-the-clock help, and the financial and logistical responsibility for their care ultimately belongs to the council.

A report prepared for councillors rated a number of issues on a scale of one to 25. The higher the number indicated the greater the risk to the council's "ability to operate" and "achieve its strategic objectives".

While exiting the EU produced a current score of six, the failure of private care providers was given a score of 15.

The report said this is, "due to financial instability of care providers, inadequate planning, business failure of a service provider and lack of nursing provision by the CCG.

It added: "There is a risk of failure to commission adequate hours and placements of care to meet statutory need.

"This may result in unmet need, potentially putting vulnerable people at risk and poor outcomes for service users."

The council says it has taken several steps to mitigate the damage of a care provider collapsing, including reviewing its "contractual options" and increasing capacity where it can.

On Brexit, the report said that there "may be a degree of potential disruption which may impact on council services and residents" if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

However, it added that extensive preparations for such an event have helped mitigate against the risks, though it acknowledged that the effects are "outside the control" of the local authority.

The report will go before the council's audit committee next week.
Council to crack down on failing providers with new scheme.

Norfolk County Council is to crackdown on poor care social care given by private providers.

There are 15 care homes in Norfolk rated as inadequate - which makes up 3pc of the total number of homes - and another 85 (18pc) have been told by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) they need to improve.

But now the council wants to up the standards of care and the organisation's powerful cabinet looks set to approve a raft of measures to do that when they meet on August 5.

Councillor Bill Borrett, cabinet member for adult social care, public health and prevention, said: "We rely on the private and voluntary sector to provide most of our care and it is crucial that standards are maintained and that their businesses are sustainable.

"The council continues to monitor the situation and is proposing a series of practical measures to support the care market."

The council spends £328m a year of care for 17,000 adults, but issues including high staff turnover and a loss of 173 care home beds, 12 providers, and five home care providers over the last year has put pressure on the sector.

Plus papers released ahead of the cabinet meeting said there was "a clear trend in new build care homes being exclusively aimed at the self-funding market".

The report said there had already been "a more robust approach of intolerance of ongoing poor ratings" put in place, where providers are expected to be able to achieve a good or outstanding CQC rating within six months of receiving a poor score.

Last year, the council approved above-inflation fee rises for care providers, to support their viability.

However the council had seen an increase in concerns reported to them about care homes in a six-month period in 2018/19 - some 488 compared to 258 in the same period the previous year.

The report said: "For the last two years there have regularly been between 14 to 20 care homes where the council has placed a restriction on all placements."

The council's new strategy will include a new proactive inspection programme, £8m of European funding - supported by a joint bid from Suffolk - to tackle recruitment issues, and setting up a care association for Norfolk.

The council also wants to increase the supply of supported living.
" Give older people legal right to live in their own homes.

Equalities watchdog demands changes after care home abuses.

The UK’s equality watchdog has demanded that disabled and older people should have the legal right to homes in the community rather than being forced to live in institutions.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) says concerns about social care and a shortage of suitable homes means a new law is urgently needed. “We need a rethink on how we treat disabled people, including people with mental health conditions, and older people in this country,” said David Isaac, chair of the EHRC. “We hope our call for action will result in a wider conversation. This goes right to the very essence of the sort of country we want to be – where everyone has the support needed to live their daily life.”

Isaac said the rights of disabled and older people were at risk. “Disabled people often feel like second-class citizens, and many are sadly faced with little choice but to move into institutions. They are often left feeling ostracised. We need to ensure that everyone can live as part of their community, where no one is forced out of the place they call home.”

The watchdog says all relevant public bodies should comply with article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which protects the right to live independently and as part of the community. A person would be assumed to want to live in the community unless he or she indicated otherwise.

The crossbench peer Baroness Campbell of Surbiton welcomed the intervention. “We can no longer turn our heads away when we witness some of the horrendous consequences of what happens to disabled people and their families when they are denied such basic human rights to live with dignity, choice and control over their lives. A right the rest of society takes for granted.”

In May the BBC’s Panorama showed abuse and mistreatment of vulnerable adults at Whorlton Hall, a specialist hospital in Co Durham. Similar concerns were raised about another institution, Winterbourne View, eight years ago. “It is clear that existing legislation is failing to protect the rights of all disabled people to live, and reach their full potential, in the community,” said Sue Bott, deputy chief executive at Disability Rights UK.

More than 2,000 people with learning disabilities or autism are being kept in secure hospitals – some have been there for decades – even though the government pledged to cut the number of people in specialist units to zero by 2014, according to a report from the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on complex needs.

“It’s been eight years since Winterbourne View,” said the APPG’s co-chair, Lord Adebowale. “Yet people with learning disabilities and those who are autistic in secure hospitals are being denied their human rights and are effectively trapped. A person’s relationship with their family and their community is essential to having a decent quality of life.”
Hull care home branded " Inadequate and unsafe " in damning report.

The CQC found Alexandra Court Care Centre residents were not getting their prescribed medicines.


Residents at an east Hull care home have not been getting their prescribed medicines, according to a damning new report.

An inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on May 2 and May 3, 2019, found worrying practices being carried out at Alexandra Court Care Centre in Southcoates Lane, which at the time had 61 people in its care, including residents with dementia.

Overall, the care centre was rated as “inadequate” and it was not deemed to be offering a safe service to its residents.

During the regulator’s review of the facility, they found that some people were not receiving their medicines as prescribed which in turn affected their treatment.

They also found that risk had not always been managed to ensure people’s safety, with one person not provided with the correct pressure relieving cushion.

The report says: “People had not always received their medicines as prescribed, which affected their treatment. Risk had not always been managed to ensure people's safety.

“This had impacted on their safe care, health and wellbeing. In one instance a person's pain and distress had not been well-managed and another person had not been provided with the correct pressure relieving cushion.

“People had not always had their needs met in ways they preferred, and in a timely way; this had resulted in one person being admitted to hospital for treatment that could have been provided in the service.

“The reduction in staffing numbers also impacted on the way the service was managed and the time available for the new registered manager to have oversight of the care of people with nursing needs.”

Over the course of the two-day inspection, the CQC says it also found one resident given a drink which did not have the required thickener in it to assist swallowing.

This left the person at a risk of choking and an inspector also found that one person suffered a fall after being left unattended in a wheelchair.

A new provider took over the running of the care centre in February 2019 and the CQC found that until very recently there was an “insufficient” number of staff on duty.

As a result of reduced staff, the delivery of care was impacted and this affected the health and welfare of residents at the home.

Complaints were also made regarding the levels of personal care, health care and treatment delivered to residents with safeguarding investigations launched.

The care centre was rated as “inadequate” and the level of care provided “required improvement”, according to the CQC and after the inspection the care centre told the regulator it would produce an action plan and lessons learned document to share with staff and improve practices going forward
I blame CQC for failing to investigate individual concerns. There should be a NO EXCUSE policy. Investigating one single complaint from one relative might have avoided all this. Why do they wait for a tsunami of complaints before getting off their backsides???
" Inadequate " Hexham care home put in special measures.

A care home run by the same provider as a specialist hospital at the centre of abuse allegations ( Whorlton Hall ) has been put into special measures.


Chesterholme, in Northumberland, is run by Cygnet Healthcare, as was Whorlton Hall, where BBC footage appeared to show patients mocked and intimidated.

Chesterholme, in Hexham, has been rated inadequate by Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors who visited in May.

Cygnet said significant steps had been taken to address Chesterholme's issues.

The inspection at Chesterholme, which cares for people with a learning disability or autism, followed concerns about the provider's safety and culture raised in the BBC Panorama programme on Whorlton Hall earlier this year.

It found staff turnover was 45% and there were high numbers of unqualified and untrained staff employed to support people with complex needs.

Staff were "unable to communicate a shared vision for the service and were unsure which policies or governance structures were relevant".

" Recently acquired "

Risk assessments were not consistently updated, and medication for use in emergencies following rapid tranquilisation were not kept on site.

However, inspectors also reported that the environment was clean and well maintained and staff interactions with people were mostly positive.

The CQC said it would keep the service under close review and make a return inspection in due course.

Cygnet Healthcare said it had "recently acquired" the home and was "investing significant resources to further enhance the infrastructure and management capability across the group's facilities".

It added: "We remain committed to acting upon the report's recommendations and working closely with the CQC to ensure we provide the highest standard and quality of care."

Whorlton Hall hospital was closed following the alleged abuse revealed in the Panorama programme, with patients transferred elsewhere.

At the time Cygnet said it was "shocked and deeply saddened" and would co-operate with the police inquiry. In June three nurses filmed there were suspended from practice.

The CQC, which did not publish a report in 2015 that criticised aspects of care at Whorlton Hall, denied having been aware of abuse there. Drafts of the 2015 report were published following the Panorama programme.
There is something fundamentally wrong with the inspection system.
I complain repeatedly to my son's LA about aspects of his care management in general.
As far as the LA are concerned, they give a contract to a provider, job done, case closed.
How can this be right for people who have learning difficulties who cannot speak up for themselves, and may not have anyone interested enough to visit them?
Annual reviews are supposed to take place, but with no consistently allocated staff member, the person at the review may not even have met the person with LD they are talking about. More importantly, the person with LD has no one in regular contact with them, who they know to contact.
In Hampshire, there is now one phone number, covering the whole county, who you have to ring initially. They then want to go through a range of ID checks - my son doesn't have the number, doesn't understand what a call centre is, and his speech and understanding, especially using the phone, would mean he would never get through the first "gate" to access whatever he needs.
Care home chain Barchester Healthcare facing a £12 million bill if it is forced to refund charges.

Care home chain Barchester Healthcare could lose £12million if it has to refund charges it levied on residents and their families.

The firm, owned by Irish horse racing tycoons Dermot Desmond, JP McManus and John Magnier, is being challenged by the competition watchdog over fees residents paid before they moved in, and sums it continued to charge families after their relatives died.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) believes these charges were unlawful because residents did not get anything for their money, and were never refunded.

Barchester, which is one of the UK’s four biggest care home providers and looks after more than 12,000 residents, has since abolished its administration charges.

In line with CMA guidance, it will now only charge families for up to a week after their relative has died, while they move out their loved ones’ belongings.

But in its latest accounts, for 2018, Barchester said it may have to refund up to £12million if the CMA wins its bid to force it to repay past customers.

In July, the CMA wrote Barchester a letter before action, warning of an imminent court claim.

It said: ‘Although Barchester stopped charging an administration fee in January 2019, it has not provided the CMA with satisfactory undertakings, including provision for financial redress for consumers in relation to the administration fee.’

Barchester said it had taken legal advice and believes that it ‘is in a strong position to refute the case’.

Barchester and the CMA declined to comment.
I am currently in correspondence with the CQC after their last inspection report on my mother's care home failed to address the fact that the lift had been out-of-order for almost three months at the time of the inspection.

I have since received a reply from them stating that, in their opinion, the care provider had done all they could to alleviate the problem (all they had done was to turn one first-floor bedroom into a temporary lounge/dining room) and that there was nothing else that could be done.

I know from my own research that there ARE alternatives - electrically-powered stair climbers being one (but apparently neither the CQC or management company had heard of these!).
Sounds " Interesting " , Pennie.

What would happen in the event of a fire on the ground floor ... with the lift out of action ???

How could said home pass a fire inspection ???

Having said that , there are NO restrictions on placing disabled people on floors higher than ground level ... as was the case
in Grenfell Tower !!!
124 posts