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Neglect of my son - Carers UK Forum

Neglect of my son

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.

I only joined the forum today and have posted a brief introduction in the new members section. As I said in there, I found this site because of my recent troubles. To quickly recap, I have two disabled children, 27 and 25. Just a couple of years ago I had to employ some carers to help me look after my son who has cerebral palsy and needs total 24 hour care.
Back in March, I employed a young lady to work two day shifts and one night shift. I of course took up all references and had her get an enhanced disclosure. She had worked for a agency as a carer for 8 years. I spent a long time training her in how to care for my son before I left her.

As my son loves to go out, I enrolled him in an adult course at the local college. He has been there many times before. Two weeks ago, the carer took my son to his college lesson. Before the lesson, she took him to the college canteen for lunch, which is something he loves to do. My son has to have all food cut into very tiny pieces or mashed. She obviously didn't do this, as a very large piece of chicken lodged in his food pipe. (thank heaven it wasn't his wind pipe)
At this time I need to say that the events that I am now relating have been pieced together after the event as I was not with them when it happened.
The chicken completly blocked his oesophagus, meaning that he was unable to swallow even his saliva. He should have had anti convulsants tablet after lunch, but would not have been able to swallow it. He was then taken into his college lesson!
The tutor was extremely concerned as he was cough up bubbling saliva at intervals of about 10 minutes. She expressed her concerns to be told by the carer ' he is always like this, it will clear in a minute'. The tutor has since used the words arrogant and cold to describe her attitude. The asked the carer to take my son to the sensory room to help him to settle. I should say that this has never in 27 years happened before. The carer insisted nothing was wrong, and when the tutors was so concerned that they went to ask their superiors for advice, the carer left taking my son with her.

She left college at about 2pm but didn't arrive home until about 3.40pm. She went straight to my son's room to change him without telling my partner that there was any problem. I arrived home at about 4.45pm and shouted in as usual to see if all was well before I made a drink..........still she said nothing. When I saw my son about 10 minutes later, I realised he was coughing a lot and that bubbly saliva was coming out when he did. I asked if he had been like that all afternoon and was told that he had coughed a few times, but nothing serious. I asked if he had had a drink and was told that she hadn't got around to making it yet. I didn't realise at that time that he hadn't had a drink since this had happened at 12.15.
At that point I took my son into the living room with me to see what it was all about. She left without saying goodbye or coming through to see if he was alright. At first I thought it could be an allergy reaction. The carer has pets and he is allergic to some animals. I tried to give him a drink but he closed his mouth and refused to drink. After about 40 minutes I was getting really worried and almost prized his mouth open to give him a sip of water. I then realised to my horror that he couldn't swallow anything.

My partner and I rushed him to the local A & E and they were really concerned. They took x rays and I sat holding a bowl in front of him. In order not to make the post an epic I will try to almost list the sequence of events. After teh consultant with examinations realised his throat was totally blocked....11pm..he decided that we would have to transfer to a hospital with a good ENT dept some 30 miles away. We arrived there at 12.45 am. My son was put on a drip as he was dehydrated. The consultant decided to try a coctail of muscle relaxants to try to relax the throat enough to dislodge the food. He was given these intavenously throughout the night. Next morning it had not cleared and we were told he would have to go to theatre. The consultant explained that this was a difficult procedure and that there were serious risks.
By this time my son had missed nearly 24 hours of medication. We were still waiting for the theatre at 2pm, when my son went into a fit....his first in over three years. Although this was awful, we think due to the severity of the shaking during the fit, the food dislodge and thank god cleared just as they came to take my son to theatre. He was released from hospital that evening and after a few days of hugs and kisses was back to his normal self.

Of course, I sacked her immediately for gross misconduct/negligence. Although a friend rang her on the evening we rushed him to hospital, she never rang once to see if he was still alive or out of hospital or anything. When I eventually managed to speak with her to tell her she was sacked, she was only interested in how much money was due to her.

I found it unbelievable that she could do that to my son and then ignor the fact for 5 hours, even to the extent of walking away from people at college who wanted to help her. My son has to have a drink every hour and she had left him without an attempt of a drink for 5 hours.

I have since tried every body that I can think of to officially report this person and try to stop her doing this to anyone else. Nobody appears to be interested in doing anything about it. She is now working full time for an agency caring for other unsuspecting vulnerable people. Carers helpline are trying to come up with ideas of what I can do, but if anyone here has any suggestions I would be so grateful.

My son and daughter are my life. I haven't slept properly since this happened and after all this time I am now so scared when they are out of my sight........I am having so much trouble letting go of this that I really need some imput.

Thank-you for reading this and I am sorry it is so long

Roo xx
Aw Roo - what can I say? That all sounds awful. If I were you I would report her to the agency she now works for and also the agency she used to work for. I hope someone gives you more advice than I can though!
Aw roo (((Hugs))) to you and your family. Image

What a position to be in, I dread to think how I would cope with this one.

Have you got involvement with social services? maybe they could advise you or even your local Carers Centre?

I'm using family to P.A. for us as my OH will not accept external Carers he doesn't know and I"m beginning to think the arrangement with our daughter is a Godsend!

I hope you can sort this out.

marie x
Thanks, I have phoned the agency who say that they can't do anything until I have made the matter official. I cannot find anyone who will take an official complaint. My son's social worker (who we only see once a year) said there is nothing I can do because she was employed privately. The protection of vulnerable adult register is not open to us carers who don't use agencies. It seems like catch 22. I would just hate to think that someone else might be in the same situation with her......or worse.

Roo x
Hi Roo

What a dreadful event for you and your son to have to go through.

I'm so scared to use private carers for this reason.

Have you tried contacting the Citizens Advice Bureau ? They might be able to suggest the best course of action.

People should not be allowed to get away with these things. It's disgraceful.

I hope this link helps:

http://www.somerset.gov.uk/somerset/soc ... rding/sva/

There are some links to related sites that may prove useful.

Good luck.

Hi Roo

A vulnerable adult is a vulnerable adult whoever provides the care and I am certain that your social worker is wrong.

You see, if the law on vulnerable adults doesn't cover this situation then social services and the government are colluding with an abuser, and the local media need to know about it. If you were to use a similar phrase to the social worker (or better still his/her manager) I think you might find them more willing to act.
Hi Roo

Have you put all this into writing to the various agencies you have complained to? The sad fact is that unless there is a written complaint the telephone complaits seem to get lost in the ether.

Try putting it in writing to the social services and the agency. You must gather the evidence ie in writing from the people that will progress your case.

You could try taking an action in to county court with or without a solicitor against the agency and the carer, although agencies normally protect themselves and state that they are not an employer and therefore not liable. Try and get legal advice before you go this route.

That's all I can think about at present.

Best of luck

I am in the process of writing this all into an official letter which I will send to all the local agencies and to social services. This is a suggestion that the helpline made. Although CSCI have said that they can only put her on the POVA register if she was employed by an agency or care home, I will still send my letter to them as well. Maybe their policy should be changed to include all carers who look after vulnerable adults, even if they are employed privately.

I don't wish to be rude, but if social services can't help us to protect our loved ones..........what use are they!!!!

roo x
Hi roo,
What an awful thing to happen. [[[hugs]]] for you and your son.

Have you asked your sons college tutor, or in fact that department for a written statement of events that happened on that day concerning your sons, and I say this loosely, 'carers' behaviour towards your his distress, and her arrogant behaviour towards the staff when they were trying to help?

It could help in you with your complaints procedure against her to have proof of what occured, and when.

Hope you get some closure on this, and that, that particular uncaring 'carer', gets banned for life, before she causes any more harm to vulnerable people and their families.

Pat xx
Hi Roo,
I've a message for you copied from another forum!
We all help where and when we can!

Here's the message for you:
It's from the other marie there!

I cant sign in to the site (forgot my password and my e mails are not working)
Please would you reply to roo -re the neglect of her son.
If you dont mind of course.

I wanted to say that as she was the last employer of this paid care worker, she should have been contacted for a reference from the agency the paid care worker now works for. If the person didnt tell them about working for roo then she has been employed under false representation. If she did, then the agency hasnt followed proper proceedures. Whatever has happened, Im sure there must be a gov regulating body or law to take this to, though Im not sure who.
Many thanks, please dont feel you need to reply if you dont wish to. I just wanted to help that lady if I could.
love and hugs

I hope it helps.

marie66 x