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Carers UK Forum • Looking for Advice - Major Problems with Care Agency
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Looking for Advice - Major Problems with Care Agency

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:14 pm
by Paul_17041
Good evening all,
I am hoping that someone will be able to provide advice or a friendly ear in relation to the problems that I am going through with the Care Agency that attends to my father.
My father is terminally ill and had undiagnosed mild memory problems. He is totally immobile. To protect his safety when I am in work (I am his full time evening and weekend carer), I have CCTV in every room that he is likely to use, simply to ensure he is safe.
We are with a new Care Agency, roughly six weeks into the package of care.
I have significant concerns, which I have reported to Social Services, the Care Agency and Care Inspectorate Wales.
My question is, where else can I go in terms of reporting the concerns?
I outline the concerns below.
1. Carers are arriving late or early, never to time. This means my father is sitting undressed waiting for his personal care and clothes to be put on. At night time, he is asked to go to bed too early, or I have to get him into bed myself if the call is late, which defeats the purpose of the carers assessment based package. As he is terminally ill, I can fully understand he wishes to stay up as much of the day as possible and enjoy the simple things in life like the television.
2. Carers do not log in or log out by telephone as they are supposed to, which means 'the office' have no record of their arrival or departure times. I state this, as the time spent in the property is usually much shorter than the allocated 30 minutes twice daily. The actual time on personal care spent with my father must be only just out of single figures.
3. Carers are not recording the correct times of arrival or departure on the record file which I look at on a daily basis.
4. Carers are writing minimal information in the file, mainly in relation to what they did, but nothing about how Dad is feeling, his health, any issues etc.
5. Manual handling is 'sloppy'. Brakes are not being applied consistency to his bed, steddy etc, and the carers do not seem to know how to use certain types of bed slide sheets - which shocked me. One was using YouTube to view a video during his 30 minute call for 10 minutes on how to use a Banana Slide Sheet. I was aghast, especially when the carer told me I should view the video too and train myself up.
6. None of the carers are registered with Social Care Wales. I know this is a new scheme, but so many are already registered, it worries me why these carers are not. Is it simply administrative, or is it due to lack of experience or qualifications?
7. The most worrying thing, given that an OT has assessed my father as double handling and have kindly provided us with a huge amount of manual handling equipment, a CCTV recording has shown that they 'ordered' my father to stand-up and hold onto the base of the bed, and use the Carers shoulder for stability when he was receiving some personal care yesterday, even though this particular carer must have attended tens of times before.
I am so worried about my fathers safety now, that I cancelled last night's call.
I am going to 'supervise' each and every call I am able to now, to ensure (a) the care plan is being followed in full and (b) my father's safety is not put at risk. In relation to the latter, please forgive me as I am not qualified in this area, but when does this become a "Safeguarding" issue? One occasion where he was put at risk, or does it have to be several occasions? Thank goodness the CCTV captured it, as my father does not remember this 'incident'.
In (potentially) the last months of my father's life, I want him to be cared for as gently and as dignified as possible. He has a form of aggressive cancer which is non-treatable.
I know, I am able to provide all of his care needs myself if I were to resign from work, but I have a good career, and my father would not want me to do this. I have even studied towards competency standards of a professional carer to enable me to do a competent job with my father.
I am so disappointed at the lack of care by this care agency.
They have failed to respond to my concerns on several occasions. In a period of 6 weeks, there have been 34 email exchanges between myself and the agency, with only four of those being replies from them.
What can I do please? I am concerned that there are an apparent lack of care agencies in our part of Wales, and so I am reluctant to pull out, but some 'shaking up' needs to be done swiftly.
Thanks for reading a long message - and I hope someone is able to advise.

Re: Looking for Advice - Major Problems with Care Agency

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:52 pm
by sunnydisposition
Hi Paul

Where do we start ...

Sorry to hear of your fathers illness.

Could you temporarily take time off. Leaving you employment is not a good idea in the long term. Would this also effect your pension etc.

Have you thought of applying for funding to select your fathers care package.

Have you thought about with own funding employing one/two full time carers.

You could contact ..

https://www.cqc.org.uk/

Re: Looking for Advice - Major Problems with Care Agency

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:00 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
Is CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare a factor here ?

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... read-35998

Alternatively , Palliative Care ?

https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/supp ... -life-care

Worth exploring ?

Re: Looking for Advice - Major Problems with Care Agency

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:01 pm
by Paul_17041
Thanks for the reply Sunnydisposition, appreciate the opportunity to talk on the forum. Yes, my employers are great, and I have been given some time off work previously. I don't think the CQC applies in Wales. We have Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) and I suppose they are the equivalent. However, I am advised they will not consider individual complaints/issues. I am not getting anywhere with this care agency, although I am hoping to meet with them next week. There are multiple issues that need to be solved, and the care agency appear to just be getting away with it at the moment. I dread to think what might be going on in other peoples homes where they do not have a son/daughter/spouse/friend/relative who can keep an eye out for them frequently too. I am always the first to compliment any sort of good service, but this is way off the mark.

I am going to explore Direct Payments but it sounds very complicated. The big issue with not living in a major town or city is the lack of alternative care providers so I am not hopeful even then, with Direct Payments, that a service could be provided.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that there will be a significant (with a capital S) improvement with this care agency, and some form of detailed investigation into the issues I have described.

Re: Looking for Advice - Major Problems with Care Agency

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:06 pm
by Paul_17041
Hi Chris
Thanks also for the reply.
We did have support from Marie Curie, but they have pulled out, which is good in a way, as Dad did not go downhill as fast as originally predicted. They will be my first port of call when the time comes.
CHC application was a bit of a nonsense. The DN who did the original assessment did it without even seeing Dad and meant we did not get off to a good start. I insisted she visited and did the assessment in my presence. I was told of all complications in relation to CHC (day)/Social Care (night) combinations that I was put off.
It all sounds so easy, but in reality, it is always a fight.
On top of this, I am spending £1000/month on private care as well, but the difference is here, the carers are excellent, and I could not recommend them enough. Compassionate, dignified, just all round lovely people. Shame I have two extremes. on my hands.
Cheers,
Paul

Re: Looking for Advice - Major Problems with Care Agency

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:09 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
So be it.

If I were you , I would check out these sections in that thread :

FAST TRACK NHS CONTINUING HEALTHCARE ( NOT JUST FOR END OF LIFE ! )

CHC : APPLIED FOR BUT REFUSED ?

Make your own judgement ... as opposed to relying on a district nurse ... who is not , exactly , impartial ... wearing her NHS cap ?

Re: Looking for Advice - Major Problems with Care Agency

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:13 pm
by Paul_17041
Thank you Chris.

Re: Looking for Advice - Major Problems with Care Agency

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:18 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
Your welcome.

It may come as no surprise that such 5 star care is rationed ... by design ?

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... 0rationing

Paid care workers ... indicative of " Social " care ... as opposed to trained nurses ???

Re: Looking for Advice - Major Problems with Care Agency

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:55 pm
by thara_1910
Hello and welcome!

Can you complain or not?

Make a list of issues or use a logbook to record details of issues. This is like a bad film. If they are failing him, you need to be willing to quickly intervene on his behalf.

Re: Looking for Advice - Major Problems with Care Agency

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:15 pm
by Paul_17041
Hello Thara_1910
Yes, I have complained 30 times! There is no action from the care agency to date.
I have been prepared to take action since the problems were noticed - almost on day 1.
There has been continual communication from my end for almost six weeks.
I have had one letter from the care agency saying they are looking into the issues, but I believe they are not taking me seriously enough to put any remedial action in place, hence why I am looking to take this higher - i.e. solicitors etc, especially with my father being put at risk with manual handling yesterday.
Paul.