New Member saying hi....(and would also like to vent a bit)

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hello everyone,

My mum suffered a stroke a couple of years ago and lost the use of her left leg. And ever since she went into hospital originally its felt like I'm constantly battling, one fight after another to get her the support she needs. It started in the hospital where they tried to claim she didn't have capacity to go home, she ended up in a care home temporarily until the social worker came to do her continuing needs assessment said she didn't understand why mum was there and immediately gave her permission to go home. Then we got saddled with the councils preferred/contracted home care agency, who really are not fit for purpose. They do very little that they're supposed to, and over the weekend mums had the emergency nurses out who left her a prescription that the agency won't collect!!! I'm an only child who lives no way near and really just wanted to get off my chest how drained I am. It's practically something every day, phone calls of poor service that I have to constantly try to sort out and am just constantly fobbed off. Everytime I visit I'm having to do a massive clean up after the carers. I'm at my wits end now and don't see how things are ever going to get better
Hello and welcome!

Complain. This is unprofessional. They are putting your mom's life at risk for no reason constantly and things need to be different in the future. Write a letter to the CQC detailing all of your concerns about this care provider, or contact your local Health Ombudsman for advice on how to make a complaint.

Can you change care companies or not?
Hi Thara_1910 (our usernames are very similar aren't they? Lol)

I am actually in the process of complaining, I didn't include it in the original post because I didn't really want to whine on forever, but yes the QCC and Local Ombudsman have both been informed about the issues. Trouble is everything just seems to take forever. I actually wanted to be rid of this particular agency over a year ago, but a combination of mum not wanting me to upset them and the red tape involved in changing agency I felt stuck between a rock and hard place.

We are, however, in the process of going onto direct payments so we can choose our own agency, but that application went in at easter and we still don't seem to be any nearer.

I phoned the council complaints department ages ago and asked about how I go about making a complaint and since then I've received a letter acknowledging the complaint, then a month later I got another stating that it's taking longer to investigate than they would like. I imagine it would take them longer since no one there has asked me what my complaint actually is!!! So off to the ombudsman I went. That is taking forever too.

Today I am concerned about this weekends events. Apparently a carer told mum there was a medical issue that needed to be taken care of, left it with mum, didn't tell anyone else and left mum struggling all day to get hold of someone to come see her. They then left her this prescription that no one will collect for her. It's absolutely disgraceful really, but it's just another in a long line of endless complaints and poor performance reviews that have never been resolved.

I think it's bad enough mum is being treated this way, what about all those poor people this agency has as clients who don't have a voice or don't feel they can speak up or worse, feel this standard of care is just the way it is.
Keep a record of further communication.

Also consider contacting your local paper to tell your story. Sell this as a human interest story for full impact.
I'm sorry to hear of these problems, it's really not fair on you.

Mum MUST have care that doesn't keep relying on you to fill in the gaps of the care that she needs.

When did you last have a Carers Assessment?
Are you registered with your GP as a carer?
You also need to find out if there are any "Emergency Carers" in your area?
Does mum have a Lifeline pendant?
Do you have Power of Attorney for her?
Can you get mum signed up with a prescription delivery service in her area.
@bowlingbun Thanks for the reply. The answers to your questions are.
  • Carers assessment was done in Feb 2018 when she came home from being in the care home
  • I am not registered with the GP as a carer (didn't know that was a thing!)
  • I have not heard of emergency carers before, can you tell me more?
  • She does have a lifeline
  • I do not have power of attorney, but am currently looking into it
@sunnydisposition Mum currently is signed up to a prescription delivery service for her usual medication, but as this was a call out via her lifeline. they left her a written prescription thinking that the carers would collect it today.
Tiara,
It's time for your carers assessment to be updated.
Doctors are supposed to record everyone who is a carer (and they are paid more by the NHS for each one on their register!) and they are supposed to make reasonable adjustments for them.
A while ago I sent my own GP practice manager a copy of the Royal College of GP's or similar explaining all the things they were supposed to be doing to help carers. The manager had never seen it!
You need to be able to prove how much you are doing for mum, so keep a diary/notebook specially for mum.
Entries can be brief, just enough so you can show how much mum's needs are affecting your own "wellbeing" because that is the term used in the care act.
"Doctors are supposed to record everyone who is a carer (and they are paid more by the NHS for each one on their register!) and they are supposed to make reasonable adjustments for them.
A while ago I sent my own GP practice manager a copy of the Royal College of GP's or similar explaining all the things they were supposed to be doing to help carers. The manager had never seen it!"
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Hope it's okay if I just hop in here with a question.

BB, such great information - thank you.

I had no idea there was a directive for GPs re: carers - would you be able to post a link? Sure it would be of use to many of us.

After moving last year and registering with a local practice, I explained to a GP that I was a (distance) carer to my elderly father, my role etc etc, how it takes its toll on my health - to which she said **nothing** - just looked at me with total disdain!

With many thanks.