Tag Archives: Care Home


Make Your Care Home More Dementia Friendly

It is such an important goal for all care homes and care facilities to ensure they enhance and, where possible, improve the quality of life for the residents with dementia. The Kingsfund assessment tool enables Care Homes to do this. It contains seven different sections looking at different aspects of the physical environment and a set of questions for each section. It encourages everyone to become involved in assessing how dementia friendly their care facility is.

Kingsfund Tool

Click here to download the Kingsfund Tool.

This tool was brought to my attention by an independent sector development officer. He talked of the merits of taking a good hard look at your Care Home from the perspective of the person with dementia and he recommended this tool.

It is a real beneficial and practical help to the manager and staff, because it helps to evidence improvements and developments in a Care Home or care service.

We changed many things as a result of using the assessment tool. Some  changes were very small, but overall these changes improved the level of how dementia friendly our Care Home was, and is today.

Each section prompted analysis and improvement. Simple things such as looking how inviting the entrance was, how obvious was the location of the doorbell, and how easy was it to use. This of course not only helps residents with dementia, but also those with diminished sight. The tool re-enforced the importance of group seating to encourage conversation and interaction between residents.

The names plates on bedroom doors were doubled in size to make them more obvious to the resident. We created new signage for the public areas of the Care Home, again making it far more noticeable than previously, but this also included a lot more additional signage to help direct residents around the Care Home.

The garden area was developed to add raised flower beds to give residents the opportunity to enjoy gardening without bending if they did not want to do that. Garden areas were also secured to give residents complete freedom to be outdoors whilst at the same time ensuring their security.

The residents, relatives, staff, management, and other healthcare professionals were involved in the assessment and the residents were consulted and involved in the decision making process. Everyone has learned from and enjoyed the whole experience.

The changes which can be made are in many cases, small and inexpensive, and relatively easy to make. Collectively they help the residents to maintain their independence and enhance their quality of life.

Great grandmother ‘gnawed by rat’ in care home – Health Secretary orders inquiry after seeing shocking photos

HEALTH secretary Jeremy Hunt has ordered an inquiry and spoken of his revulsion after being shown pictures of an elderly woman bitten 50 times by a rat in a care home.

Mr Hunt announced the probe after Whitehall officials raised the case of bedridden Pamela Hudson, who her family say was gnawed by a rodent as she slept at Glen Lodge, in the Heworth area of York.

The 75-year-old great-grandmother, who was from the city, was left covered in blood after the incident on June 19 and was taken to York Hospital, but died three months later at St Catherine’s Nursing Home, in Shipton-by-Beningbrough.

Mr Hunt said: “These pictures are appalling and show the suffering of a vulnerable woman who, along with her family, was stripped of her dignity and badly let down.

“Working across Government, ministers are ordering an investigation which will be launched in the coming days.

Whatever the sort of social care provider, people have a right to expect the highest standards, and that is what we are determined to secure.”

City of York Council, which runs the care home, investigated the incident, but Mrs Hudson’s daughters, Jan Derry and Sallie Wilkinson, said they have received no apology and had been told it will never become clear whether the bites contributed to her death.

Mrs Derry, from Heworth, said: “They are not admitting responsibility. They are not saying how it got in. They are shirking any responsibility.

“Since my mum died, they’ve got pest control at Glen Lodge.

“If you’re living in sheltered accommodation and you’re bed ridden, you need to be looked after.

“When you looked at her arm there was no top level of skin in sections. It was not just a bite, it was as if it had been chewed off.

“As if you were eating a corn on the cob and you gnawed along it.

“It shouldn’t have happened, but it did. We just want people to be aware that things like this can happen.”

“Obviously we are still very distressed about it, but we have come to the end of the road with it,” she said.

“We have done all we can for our mum, but we are not ready to bury her ashes yet.”

Martin Farran, director of adult social care at the council, said: “It is with regret that, despite extensive efforts by professional experts, environmental health and independent inspectors, we have been unable to determine the exact circumstances of how Mrs Hudson’s injuries occurred.

“Our thoughts are with Mrs Hudson’s family, who are understandably distressed by what has happened.”

Source The Northern Echo

Closed to new admissions: care home told it can’t take patients until it improves

The latest inspection of Sheridan Care Home, Durlston Road, revealed it is still failing to protect the safety of its elderly residents.

Now home bosses have been ordered to make urgent improvements or face being struck off the CQC register for good.

Debora Ivanova, interim deputy chief inspector of adult social care in the South, said: “We have imposed a condition on the service which means they can no longer move people into the service without agreement from CQC.”

Investigators discovered a catalogue of failures at the Lower Parkstone home following an unannounced three-day inspection in August this year.

An inspection report revealed:

  • Most staff members did not display the knowledge, experience or communication skills needed to effectively deal with people living with dementia.
  • Staff were not confident in how to safely move people, putting residents at risk of injury.
  • Some residents were not being given the support needed to eat, putting them at risk of receiving inadequate fluids and food needed to increase or maintain weight.
  • Medicines were not been managed safely. Some were incorrectly labelled, others were being administered without pharmacist consultation.

Mrs Ivanova said: “We found that the care provided at The Sheridan Care Home fell a long way short of what we expect services to provide.

“It is unacceptable that the provider has failed to pick up on or address the safety risks identified by our inspectors.”

The deputy chief inspector stressed residents are entitled to services that provide safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care and the CQC has now told the operators they must prioritise action.

“We are in close liaison with the local authority to monitor the situation and ensure people living at the home are not at risk.”

This latest report followed an earlier CQC inspection, the previous October, that concluded elderly services at the home were “inadequate” and needed urgent improvement.

After the publication of the CQC’s October findings, The Sheridan Care Home manager Richard Koussa said there had been “a lot of improvement” since the inspection and they had addressed the issues raised in the CQC feedback, adding: “I am confident that we will now meet the requirements.”

He was unavailable to comment on the latest report.

Source Daily Echo

Three care home workers convicted of ill-treating 99-year-old dementia sufferer who suffered extensive burns after being immersed in scalding hot bath

Three care home workers have been convicted of ill-treating a 99-year-old dementia sufferer who suffered extensive burns after being immersed in a scalding hot bath.

Indrannee Pumbien, 59, her husband Meghadeven, 64, and care assistant Niphawan Berry, 42, failed to seek immediate treatment for Margaret Wheatley at the Briarwood Rest Home in Preston.

The elderly woman suffered extensive burns to her legs and feet, which were consistent with contact with water between 46C and 50C for up to five minutes, a court heard.

Mrs Pumbien was also found guilty of force-feeding the pensioner and another resident at the care home in Lostock Hall at Preston Crown Court today.

The jury failed to reach a verdict on an allegation of grievous bodily harm against Berry who was said to have dropped Mrs Wheatley in the bath. She was cleared of ill-treating a second resident.

The Pumbiens were found not guilty of ill-treating another resident in relation to allegedly failing to provide adequate lifting equipment.

Mrs Pumbien was also cleared of ill-treating another pensioner at the home and perverting the course of justice.

The jury failed to reach verdicts on another four counts of ill-treatment said to have been committed by Indrannee Pumbien.

Police began their investigation into the home in June last year when they were made aware of a complaint about the treatment of a resident.

Detective Sergeant Alex Gornall of Lancashire Police said: ‘These convictions are the culmination of a long and complex inquiry into the ill-treatment of residents at Briarwood Care Home.

‘The investigation revealed that these residents were victims of mistreatment at the hands of these defendants, the very people who were trusted to look after them and who were supposed to treat them with dignity at all times.

‘I would like to thank the members of staff who came forward as witnesses in this case. With their help we have been able to put a stop to any further mistreatment and their evidence has been crucial in securing these convictions.

‘We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our communities and our priority from the outset of this investigation was to ensure the safety of patients within the home. We have worked closely with the Care Quality Commission and the Adult Social Care Service at Lancashire County Council throughout.

‘We don’t believe that the behaviour of these defendants reflects the behaviour of the majority of staff who worked at Briarwood and the care home is now under completely new ownership with the levels of care provided to patients carefully monitored.

‘We have worked closely alongside the family members of the victims to support them during this difficult time. Although nothing can compensate for the ill-treatment that their loved ones have suffered, I hope that they can find some comfort from the verdicts and the fact that the defendants have now been brought to justice for their actions.’

Ben Southam, deputy head of the Complex Casework Unit at CPS North West, said: ‘Today the owners of a care home and a member of their staff have been found guilty of the shocking abuse of extremely vulnerable adults.

‘The victims were lovingly placed by their families in the care of the residential home; however these three people have abused the trust placed in them by the appalling treatment of those in their care. Their actions have caused considerable distress not only to the victims, but also to their families who have had to hear in great detail how their loved ones were ill-treated and abused in the most deplorable way.

‘All three defendants have shown no remorse throughout the case, but today they must now face up to the consequences of their actions.

‘The prosecution was made possible thanks to all the witnesses who came forward and gave evidence at the trial, which has enabled us to bring an end to the abuse and bring those responsible to justice.

‘The CPS and the police will continue to work together to tackle the abuse of vulnerable people in our society, and I would urge anyone who has suffered or witnessed abuse to report it to the authorities without delay.’ 

Source Mail Online

Woman, 92, runs away from nursing home to be with her 87-year-old lover

A 92-year-old woman has run away from her nursing home – to be with her LOVER, 87.

In a story that shows the heart never stops dreaming of romance, the woman had been seeing the gentleman for some time, and he had visited her in the home.

There had been a search launched for the resident of Vilberg old people’s home in Eidsvold, north of Oslo in Norway after her walking frame was found abandoned in a car park.

But it was called off when they found out that she had driven to Stockholm in neighbouring Sweden to be with her Swedish boyfriend, who is 87.

It’s understood that the pair were in a relationship before she went into the home.

The home, where the woman plans to return this weekend, has been very understanding about her decision.

Vilberg boss Janka Holstad told Eisvoll Ullensaker : “This is really a touching love story.

“Imagine not being able to go on a romantic holiday just because you’re past 90. The lady did nothing illegal, but she caused some uneasiness for us, because she never announced she was leaving.”

The resident’s romantic holiday has lasted for 10 days.
Source Mirror

Care system gets ‘biggest shake-up in 60 years’

Major changes to the care system in England are being introduced on Wednesday in what is being dubbed the biggest shake-up for 60 years.

The Care Act 2014 includes rights for those receiving care and those who provide it to their loved ones.

It includes standards for access to services from care homes to help in the home for tasks such as washing and dressing.

Meanwhile, NHS and care budgets are being merged in Scotland.

The Public Bodies (Joint Working) Act has been described as the most substantial reform north of the border for a generation.

It effectively forces councils and the NHS to work together to provide more streamlined services.

That aim is also a major topic of debate in England in the election campaign with the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and Greens all having plans for greater integration.

But the changes coming into force in England on Wednesday apply only to the care system for older people and younger adults with disabilities.

Four major changes are being introduced:

  •     The creation of national eligibility criteria establishing for the first time when someone should be entitled to help – to date, it has been up to councils to set their own criteria
  •     A duty on councils to offer schemes by which those who need to pay for residential care can get a loan from their local council, which is then paid back from their estate after death
  •     Giving carers for the first time the same right to assessment and support as the people they care for; before, they had to provide “substantial care on a regular basis” to get an assessment
  •     Those who pay for care themselves will be entitled to go to councils to get advice and information about the care system.

To help protect people’s assets, a cap on care costs they have to pay for – set at £72,000 for the over-65s – will kick in from April next year. How the cap works for younger people has still to be finalised.

Today’s changes, however, still mark a major milestone in care services, which experts say have hardly changed since the current system was created along with the NHS after the Second World War.

BBC Cost of Care project

The BBC has launched an online guide to the care system for the over-65s. The “care calculator” covers residential care and the support provided in people’s own homes, for tasks such as washing and dressing.

Users can submit their postcode and find out how much each service costs where they live in the UK.

There is also a dedicated BBC Cost of Care website, with news stories, analysis and video.

  •     The care calculator
  •     Cost of Care website
  •     How the systems differ in the UK
  •     England’s care cap explained

David Pearson, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said the changes were “probably the most significant development” since 1948.

But he said there were still issues to resolve on the underfunding of the system. Unlike the NHS, the care system budget has been cut in real terms this Parliament.

Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire council, who chairs the Local Government Association’s Wellbeing Board, agreed with both points.

“Councils simply cannot afford any more financial burdens when social care services are already chronically underfunded,” she said.

Janet Morrison, of the charity Independent Age, said the Care Act had the “potential to revolutionise” services.

But she said: “With a rapidly ageing population, we need an honest debate during and after the election about the true costs of care.”

Sourced from the BBC Online

Cargenholm and Inverness care home services rated ‘weak’

Two Scots care homes – one near Dumfries and the other in Inverness – have been told to make improvements after being rated “weak” by inspectors.

The Care Inspectorate visited the Cargenholm Care Centre in December and the Fairfield Care Home in January.

It found that the quality of care and support provided was “weak”, the second lowest possible grade.

Inspectors have said they would revisit both sites soon and take further action if improvements had not been made.

At the Cargenholm Care Centre on the outskirts of Dumfries, inspectors raised concerns about staff vacancies, staff practice and environmental issues and have made a number of requirements for improvement.
Required improvements

“We were disappointed to find in this inspection there were very poor levels of hygiene and cleanliness, particularly in service users’ own private space,” they noted.

“We recognise that there is a considerable level of commitment needed from the provider and management team to ensure that the deficits identified at this inspection are addressed and positive outcomes are achieved.

“Through discussion and submission of an immediate action plan the management team conveyed an intention to make the required improvements.”

A spokesman for the Care Inspectorate said it continued to have concerns about the service and would be monitoring it closely to ensure action was taken to meet required standards.

A spokesperson for the the south of Scotland home, run by Canterbury Care, said: “The feedback from the Care Inspectorate was taken very seriously and a comprehensive and robust action plan is in place.

“We are working closely with the Care Inspectorate, social services and the commissioners and are confident that our actions will meet the requirements within the prescribed timescales.”

Inverness inspection

At the Inverness site – run by another operator – a previous inspection had graded the quality of care and support as “unsatisfactory”.

A formal improvement notice remains in effect at the service, and some concerns raised in an earlier inspection had not been addressed, inspectors said.

In their most recent report, inspectors noted: “We have maintained the improvement notice and given extended timescales for those requirements that have not been fully addressed.

“At this inspection we found that the service had not sufficiently addressed the seven requirements and five recommendations that were highlighted within the inspection report of August 2014.

“The service had not addressed the requirements that were made from three complaints, which were made to us and which were upheld.

“Furthermore they had not provided us with an action plan within the given timescales, as highlighted within the complaint reports.”

Source BBC News

Lake View Nursing Home in Chorley to close amid care probe

A Lancashire care home under investigation over the alleged mistreatment of residents is to close.

Lake View Nursing Home in Withnell, Chorley, has taken the decision amid concerns about patient safety.

An inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year raised concerns over staff shortages and a lack of hot water to showers.

A report from a further inspection carried out this month has not yet been published.

‘Significant concerns’

However, Debbie Westhead, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector for adult social care in the north, said there were “significant concerns” regarding standards of care at the home.

“The home is currently falling a long way short of what we expect services to provide,” she said.

“We are proposing to take enforcement action against the provider, but we are unable to provide further details at this time, pending any possibility of appeal by the provider.

“We are aware the provider intends to close the home and we are in close liaison with the provider, local authority and commissioners who will ensure that suitable arrangements are made and that residents are safely relocated at alternative placements in the area.”

‘Working hard’

The home cares for people with dementia and is managed by Embrace, an independent care provider which runs support services for the elderly and young people with learning disabilities.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “We are supporting an investigation into the alleged mistreatment of a number of residents.

“We have also put in our own staff to help run the home, alongside the existing staff, following Embrace’s decision to close Lake View within 28 days.”

A spokesman for Embrace said they had been “working hard to improve standards at the home” but the progress was not satisfactory.

He added: “In addition, due to an increased reliance on agency staff, we are not able to guarantee that residents will receive the standard of care they deserve beyond the short to medium term.

“For this reason we have taken the very difficult decision to close the home.”

Source BBC News

Care home scandal: ‘My father suffered hellish treatment’

A distraught son has told how his father suffered “hellish treatment” at a care home which was closed last week after failures by staff and managers.

Leslie Shields’s 78-year-old father, who has dementia, was one of about 65 pensioners transferred to other care homes after the Care Quality Commission ordered the closure of Merok Park Care Home in Banstead, Surrey.

Inspectors found untrained staff were placing its vulnerable residents at risk by washing them in cold water, not helping them to eat and in some cases confining them to the top floors of the home because of a broken lift.

Many were suffering from bed sores.

Mr Shields said his family made repeated complaints on behalf of his father, also called Leslie, only to be ignored at every turn. Mr Shields, 53, a car mechanic, said: “The care was bad and the nursing was bad. My dad was not cleaned properly and was getting sores. There were people being left to soil themselves. Sometimes there was no hot water. My dad had problems with his legs and all he needed was someone to take him for a walk in the garden, but they didn’t even have that.”

Mr Shields’s father went into Merok Park six years ago after his family tried to care for him as he began to experience dementia and memory loss.

Although they noticed an odour, they dismissed it as “an old people smell”. However, as time went on the family became increasingly concerned. “The smell was getting worse and worse,” said Mr Shields. “His room was kept tidy but mainly because we would be cleaning it up for him.”

He said his family’s attempts to complain came to nothing. “My sister Janet filled out feedback questionnaires but management would say your questionnaire was ‘misplaced’.”

Mr Shields said the closure came out of the blue. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. They had people in there with dementia who are confused and need care.” Mr Shields said his sister went to the home but was given neither an explanation nor an apology. He said: “It was just a pure bunfight, it was chaos.”

Mr Shields’s father is now settling in to a care home 10 minutes away, but his son, who runs a garage in Ewell, Surrey, is convinced he would have been a different person with proper care. “He wouldn’t have the sores on his legs. He gets really paranoid about that,” he said.

Merok Park was run by Soondressen Cooppen and his wife, Maleenee. They were unavailable for comment.

Adrian Hughes, of the CQC, said it “sincerely regrets the disruption and distress” to the residents, adding however, that the closure was “the right thing to do”. 

Source The Telegraph

Care workers who tormented patients with dementia for ‘their own amusement’ jailed after new colleague quit in disgust and blew the whistle after one shift

Two care workers who ‘abused, degraded and mocked’ mentally-ill patients ‘for their own amusement’ while another took photos on her mobile phone have been jailed.

William Bowman, 22, and Chevonne Benson, 23, subjected their victims – many who suffer from dementia – to systematic abuse including hair pulling, name calling and cruel pranks, while Claire Strong, 21, took pictures of the humiliating incidents.

The offences at Bupa-run Beacon Edge Nursing Home in Penrith, Cumbria, took place between January and September last year.

The mistreatment only emerged when a female carer started work at the home and resigned, appalled at some of the events she witnessed, after just one shift.

The whistle-blower’s concerns were passed to management before social services and the police became involved, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

William bowman (pictured) and chevonne benson abused patients in their care while another carer, claire strong, took photos on her mobile phone. all three have now been jailed for ill-treatment of a person without capacity

Bowman, from Bowscar, near Penrith, was jailed for three-and-a-half years today after he admitted eight counts of ill-treatment of a person without a capacity and was convicted earlier this week of sexually assaulting a resident at the care home.

William bowman and chevonne benson (pictured) abused patients in their care while another carer, claire strong, took photos on her mobile phone. all three have now been jailed for ill-treatment of a person without capacity

Benson, from Penrith, was sentenced to three years after she pleaded guilty to 10 counts of ill-treatment of a person without capacity.

Strong, of Clifton, was jailed for one year after she admitted three counts of ill-treatment of a person without capacity.

Detective Constable Carolyn Willacy, who led the investigation, said: ‘The level of ill-treatment towards residents by these three was so shocking that a member of staff resigned after working only one shift.

‘She was left distraught by what she saw but displayed great courage and decency by speaking out.

‘All of the residents involved in this case suffered some form of mental illness, most from dementia. Their lack of understanding and inability to report the abuse made them an easy target.

‘Bowman and Benson abused, degraded, and mocked those people who were under their care. Their vile acts would be recorded by Strong on her mobile phone. They subjected their victims to torment, including hair pulling and verbal abuse which left them visibly distressed.’ 

In a joint statement issued through police, the families of the victims said: ‘Due to their illnesses, we do not know how the victims, our loved ones, feel about what happened to them, but we do our best to speak on their behalf.

‘The investigation and court case have been extremely distressing for us all and we do not take any pleasure in the outcome.

‘There are lessons to be learnt from this case and we hope all involved will work together towards preventing anything like this happening again.’

They thanked the woman who spoke out and exposed the abuse.

Senior prosecutor Isla Chilton said: ‘The three defendants physically, verbally and emotionally abused vulnerable men and women for their own amusement. William Bowman also further degraded one of the residents by sexually assaulting her.

‘The victims were lovingly placed in the care of the residential home by their families. It is a place where they should have been looked after and all their needs met.

‘However these three employees abused the trust placed in them by their employers and the victim’s families by their demeaning treatment of them.

‘It is due to the willingness of the witnesses in coming forward which brought an end to the abuse and has enabled us to bring these defendants to justice for their abhorrent actions.’

Source Mail Online