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Carers not securing property-complaint going nowhere -Carers UK Forum

Carers not securing property-complaint going nowhere

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Hi folks, hoping to get some advice about a care agency issue.

We have an ongoing probelm with a carer not ensuring our property is secure when they leave-the front door has been left slightly ajar on several occasions.

I tried to manage this inititially by speaking to the carers involved, and after a while it resolved. However it still happens with regularity and it happens when one particular carer is rostered on duty (although the care call is a double up, this particular carer is always on duty when the door is left open). I have seen this carer leave the door open numerous times, and complained verbally to the agency last year on three separate occasions.

The door was left open again recently, it was discovered by a carer (as I was out of the house) who reported it to their manager and informed me verbally.
I made a written complaint, as the rostered carers at the care call immediately before included the carer who has repeatedly left it open. The other carer at the time was new, had just finished her two week induction. My complaint included information given to me by the carer who discovered the incident, and it was second-hand.

I stated that I didnt want this carer to provide anymore care, that we were being put at risk by her negligence. The manager acknowledged my complaint and said she would investigate, but it wasnt fair to blame one member of staff as safety is the responsibility of both carers, and the needs of the service meant that the manager couldnt remove this carer from our call.

I received an official reply yesterday. It was written on Tues 9th Feb. basically, my complaint is not upheld as the carer denies entering our property and leaving it unsecured. The investigation the manager did does not address the fact that the door was left unsecured between a rostered 12pm call and a rostered 3pm call, where there were ni visitors to the hiuse except the carers. The manager has speculated that perhaps my sister (a wheelchair user and client of the agency) left the door open, so the manager arranged a visit between her and an OT today at 11am. I wasnt here because I didnt know, the info regarding this visit was in the letter that she wrote on Tues, that I received yesterday.

Im really unhappy and frustrated. Im annoyed that the manager speculates that my sister left the door open even though my sister left for day care that morning, and carers came in for my mum after my sister left. The manager didnt even speak to my sister to ask if it was possible she left the door open.
Im annoyed that this investigation the manager did seemed to involve 'did you go in and leave the door open?', the carer says no and no further issue is made of it.
There has been no reference to the fact that the door was open when it should have been closed, and the last people known to have been present were the two carers.

What do I do? I have little faith in any resolution. Do I just acknowledge her letter and dismiss the outcome of her investigation? Or should I amend my comp,aint and ask why the door was left open between the calls when noone else visited but th ecarers? Or shoukd I get CCTV?
Im so annoyed I could cry!!!!

Sorry for the long post, your comments and advice appreciated.
Hi Frito
That's appalling.
I'd be tempted to write a reply saying that seeing as your sister had left before the first visit and that the manager is satisfied that the carer(s) mentioned had not left the door open, a third person must therefore be involved. This person must have entered the house/opened the door in between the carers leaving and the next carer arriving.
You are therefore going to change the lock, change the key safe number (if you have one) and intend to inform the police of this possible intruder as your vulnerable mother is in danger and your security compromised.
The installation of a CCTV camera is also a possibility you are considering.
You will be informing the police of the dates and times the door has been found open.

Are you able to detail the dates and times the door has been left unsecured? Has anything gone missing by the way?
Carers usually leave a record of who has been there in the property so make sure you copy the sheets to show that this carer has been present when the door was left open. Unfortunately it's only circumstantial so you can't prove the carer was at fault. However if she is leaving the door open, why is she doing that? Once is careless, habitually may be something else. Has anyone been in the property do you think?

I would then go looking for another care company as this one isn't taking their responsibility of care seriously.

Well, that's what I would do.
I've just had CCTV fitted to my house, for various reasons. I suggest that you investigate further.
If the agency won't resolve the issue, take it up the CQC. In the meantime, even though it's a pain, make sure the agency is aware that you will continue to to monitor the situation, in whichever way you decide (CCTV etc.), and that you will be in constant contact with them, highlighting your issues. Leaving a property insecure, is ultimately the agency's responsibility - if they won't accept that, then perhaps an alternative agency needs to be sought.
Hi Frito

I completely understand your huge frustration. One of Dad's carers from his initial care company left both the front door and porch door wide open upon leaving and I have a giant dog in the house and live on a busy road. I was furious and told the agency I didn't want him back. He was as Gormless as they come.
Another time I had told the agency we had a hospital appointment and would be out by 10.30 AM. Carer came after we left (in fact I saw her filling up her car at garage just as we were leaving) and when I came back the key box was wide open with the key on top. She never came back either.

To give an honest balanced view point as a carer myself , I took a client shopping the other day - only out for 5 minutes and I checked the door before we left which appeared well and truly locked. We returned and my client just walked in with no key so it would seem I need to check much more thoroughly. We are all human and errors can occur.

When this situation is repeated , it is completely unacceptable and the agency's attitude is abysmal. I would take your complaint and their response further to the LA or the CQC. Stress they have a duty of care etc Any chance of changing agency?
Thanks all for your input, I just finished my response to the official reply.

Ive basically dismissed her conclusion as she has not addressed the complaint I made.
Ive asked her to relate the facts she has established during her investigation and related the facts that I know.
Ive then concluded why I believe the carers left the door open (they were the only known visitors who could gain access-door is locked with keysafe in operation) and asked for her response to this. Ive asked her if she considers CCTV an option and explained why I think it us.

Ive addressed the problem with her reliance on the safety-in-numbers argument; that having two carers to double-check the door is closed is ok when managing a hypothetical risk, but it is not managing an actual risk. It engenders frustration in us as we're told both carers are responsible for safety but neither is held accountable.

Ive questioned why she has involved LA now, when she has identified my sister as a risk, and not on any if the occasions I have reported carers in the past. Ive also expressed it is unfair and misleading to present this as a risk my sister presents.

Ive also said the notice she gave me for the LA meeting she arranged was inadequate (24 hours) and I should have been given more notice so I could attend.

Ive actually written a lot, I wanted to put my point across better than my initial frustrated brainfart of a complaint. At least I have it on record should future instances necessitate it.
Thanks Henrietta, just seen your post now. My issue has been ongoing over the past three years, and the same carer making the same error regardless of which other carer she's doubled up with. So I just want them to remove her from our call, so the actual risk she poses (as evidenced by the regularity of the door being left open) goes back to being a hypothetical risk everyone poses.