Dementia currently affects 1 in 14 people in the UK. Many people will either know someone with dementia, have had to support and care for someone with dementia or have been diagnosed themselves.
The Care Quality Commission, the regulator for health and social care, set out very clearly what they expect from a good care home.
On 10 August 2017, a new report was published by Healthwatch, a consumer champion for the health and social care sector.
The report highlights the striking variation in care homes across the country. Healthwatch staff and volunteers across England visited 197 care homes in 63 different local authority areas to record the experiences of those living in care homes. Environment, activities, staffing and wider health needs were among the topics they asked residents. Despite largely positive feedback, Healthwatch visitors witnessed homes not getting the basics right. Even those providing excellent care failed to tick all the boxes. The report also highlights a widespread lack of access to GPs and dentists for care home residents and raised particular concerns regarding the suitability of some care homes for residents with Alzheimer's.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
“Sadly, I’m not at all surprised by these findings. They testify to the existing issues with staff training across the sector, and echo what our investigation last year found – that one in three home-care workers had received absolutely no dementia training, resulting in people with dementia left in soiled sheets, and becoming ill after eating out-of-date food.”
The report by Healthwatch comes four weeks after the Care Quality Commission, the agency responsible for regulating the care homes, revealed that one in four social care facilities were unsafe.
Imelda Redmond, national director of Healthwatch England, said:
“Care homes were grappling with rising demand and stretched resources”, but added, “ Getting the basics right doesn’t cost the earth and should be the least we should all be able to expect for our loved ones, and ourselves should we need care support.”
We welcome the report by Healthwatch England and hope to see further recommendations designed to help our older, vulnerable people, to gain access to appropriate care.
At Anthony Collins Solicitors, we believe in vulnerable people receiving the high-quality care and support they deserve. We represent clients who have suffered injury, or whose health has deteriorated due to the negligence of the healthcare professionals involved in their care and treatment. Claims can arise because of prescription errors, not taking steps to reduce the risk of falls, allowing pressure sores to develop, not providing adequate support with eating and drinking and other failings.
We have experience in securing compensation for many people who have received poor treatment in nursing, care and residential homes where standards have been unacceptable. We have also successfully pursued claims against local authorities, healthcare trusts and private care providers where the services provided by them were inadequate. When representing clients, we often seek compensation to fund private medical care and so that our clients can afford the best quality care in the future.
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