fraudulent care logs, charges? I'm beside myself......

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my mother has been assigned by the LA 2 carers 4 times day. My mother has never signed any document from the LA regarding care at home. She is being billed by LA for 4 x 2 people a day for 30 minutes each visit although often only one carer shows up. overall this care company has provided acceptable care whereas 2 other companies have not. The LA has billed mum for two carers per visit but in reality often only one carer visits. Today at lunch time one carer came afternoon and stayed for around 15 minutes. The second carer showed 6 minutes after and spent most of the time asking the first as carer if she could swap time periods with her. they both left within 16 minutes after the first carer arrived.
One wrote in the carer log , and wrote both carer names in the 'sign here' log and wrote they'd arrived 12:00 and left at 12:30.

I spotted this and called the care agency supervisor at 12:18 and at 12:23 I called the LA. my recently fitted ring doorbell has them enteringthe house at 12:02 and at 1208, but it didn't record them leaving

They were gone by 12:16.

Since these carers were doing a decent job of looking after Mum, I hadn't scrutinised the carer log. When I looked this afternoon I saw one of the carers had signed for both carers and wrote they were in mum's home until 12:30 when both had left by 12:16! Each visit is supposed to be 30 minutes.

I've left voicemails with both the care supervisors and the LA before 12:30 pm. Just how common is this apparent fraud activity and where should I go next? How can I believe what is written in the carer log if I've seen them fake it today?
Hi Rosemary,
I'm not sure how much help my answer will be. My brother, who died last year, had two carers four times a day too. First we had a particularly bad company, which was shut down. Then we had a much better company. In both cases, if the carers were not there for 30 minutes, I grew not to get too hot under the collar about it (I lived in the same house so I saw what went on). The carers often had driving problems, stuck in traffic held up from their next call, especially on these double-handed calls where both are supposed to be there together. As long as they did what they were supposed to, I didn't mind. It did take me a long time to decide how I felt about it.

However, I wonder why your mother has been allocated two carers. My brother needed two because he was heavy, and to use the hoist. There must be a good reason for two to be allocated. I would certainly complain if there's only one there, and also if they are there for such a short time, as in less than 15 minutes. Of course one should complain about a lot more, but in our case it was very difficult getting carers to come to our district - we were turned down by three agencies because of the traffic problems and relatively few carers needed in our area.

I haven't ever tried to get a refund. Eventually my brother was granted continuing health care, so it was all paid for by the NHS, and then we kept the more expensive company, simply because we couldn't get another, so we were lucky there.

As for signing a document, there should certainly be a care agreement in place and your mother or you should have signed it, I think.

There are constant problems of every kind with carers. Some are great, some new, some experienced, some interested, some not interested. I didn't feel we had a big choice in what went on.

About the log: I suppose that's true, you can't trust that it's been filled in truthfully. Was the logging on system the same for all three agencies? Ours used to ring in to the agency originally, but most recently they used an app on their phones which I could access too.
As a follow up, one carer came for teatime visit and wrote names of two carers. don't think she was here for anything like 30 minutes.

what sort of fools do they take mum and me for?

the care supervisor said she would come and investigate........
Hi,
I have had a similiar thing, though at the moment it's social care paying and not S. The carer who he likes the most is often running a bit late, as she was today. She comesto him from a two handed call and the agency dont allow enough travel time for rush hour. She arrived at nearer 8.25 but wrote that she had arrived at 8.15. S's bus was late and she wrote that she left at 9.05 ( she should've left at 9.00) This makes it look like she worked an extra 5 mins, whereas she actually did 5 mins less.

The chap he isn't very good, is always early, probably because he doesn't come from another care visit.

Am undecided whether to let it go and keep a record. Though half of me thinks the agency won't know to allow more travel time if the records aren't accurate.

Rosemary, does your Mum need two Carers? How does it affect her care if only one turns up? Is she being charged for two, when one could cope? Re the forging of the signatures - you could ask for a list of the regular care workers with a sample signature by each name, this can be compared against the log.

Melly1
Rosemary
I think you are within rights to withhold payments until this issue is sorted out. That doesn't mean sacking the company, just putting things in place to get Mum the help she needs and is paying for.
It is important to have a copy of the contract in case that 30 minutes included , say, 10 minutes travelling time,.

I'd have word with the LA finance dept asap. If there is fraud going on in a household where there is a responsible adult, what are they doing (or not doing) in a household where no one else checks? Times that by 8 clients per day per carer and it could be mega bucks for the bosses, and a t tax payers expenses in many cases
Not really surprising but the other carer came for evening call and wrote down two names in the care log.

Thank you for your valuable perspectives. I've left another voicemail for the social worker. I do remember asking whether the 30 minutes visit included some travel time and I was told a definite no.

Mum was assigned 2 carers per visit by the occupational therapist upon mum's discharge from the hospital I believe because of being weak through months in bed and needing an electrical standing hoist. Now she is becoming stronger and no longer has the urinary tract infection. The social worker will be putting the case for a single carer to her panel next week. After all, the carers have been doing perfectly well with just one care worker per visit!

I wouldn't want to change the people who come. Mum and I are comfortable with the care, just not the documentation and billing.

it's good to get your feedback and suggestions. Thank you.
Remind them the documentation contained within their own care plan (the folder) is legally binding, this specifically refers to paperwork where entry times and task data are logged by the care worker.

Its not just fraudulent, those time sheets are meant to be accurate and inaccurate time stamps are a huge safeguarding violation. Their putting clients at risk and it will only take a situation where somebody actually has an event (a fall for example) during a time where they claim they were present (when they'd in fact buggered off) to expose the fact.

I get you don't want to rock the boat. But your supposed to be able to trust these people with your loved ones.. and fraudulent log entries is a gross (and dangerous) betrayal of that trust.

Plus I would consider the fact that in the same position, should any sort of incident occur and it were discovered I was aware of what they were doing, I would be equally scrutinized for not flagging that sort of conduct in the first place (adult safeguarding love a scape goat and carers can't afford to defend themselves as well as the bigger agencies)

If you have that much faith in their ability to work, by all means its your call to warn them to pack it in.. but don't let them skimp by entering incorrect data on merit alone, tell them to pack it in as they also have a duty of care and to uphold, acting professionally on the job goes without saying.
Deer Honey Badger and all, This morning I reported my concerns to the cqc/safeguarding. The apparent misdocumentation of the care and its use to support invoicing of care provided is huge. I knew it was a serious issue. I have been sick to my stomach realising the evidence of deception when the level of care seems to be the best we've had.

Thank you for your hearing me out.
Well done. It's much better to have a higher authority investigate, because then they can look at the bigger picture. My mum complained to CQC once about her care (and she was generally as timid as a mouse, I was very surprised!) and they dealt with it very tactfully. It turned out that lots of users were unhappy, and I suspect the same may be the same in your case.
Hopefully Rosemary, it will be the organisation/company/management above the individual carers who will be in trouble, not the individuals themselves. If you are happy with the individuals you could always give them your number and say if anything should happen, that they could contact you to say who they are now working for.
Often a company or agency emerges under different name but with the same people

You did the right thing
Kr
MrsA