Choosing to put your loved one into care can be a difficult decision, and while it’s never easy, it’s usually the last resort for most people and the decision is usually due to health problems (short or long term), learning disabilities, physical disabilities, old age or alcohol or drug problems.
Pryers Solicitors’ Jenny Barton has some advice for those who are looking for the right care home for their family member, how you can take action if you have concerns, and the level of care you should expect.
Once your family member is a resident of a care home, they have the right to be safe and be correctly treated by staff who are qualified. They also have the right to be fully informed when their care is being discussed, while having all of their needs, including support, treatment and care, met. Finally, the care provider should be routinely checking the standard of the services.
There’s a big difference between good and substandard care homes. A quality care home will make sure that your loved one is treated respectfully, and receiving the best care, including personal care. They’ll be washed and their hygiene will be taken into account, ensuring that they’re in clean clothes. Their medical records will be kept up to date and all of their medical needs will be met. One key thing to remember is that if your family member is in a good care home and their needs are being met, they will be happy. If they seem upset, depressed or fearful, it’s a good indication that they’re not in the best facility.
If you have concerns about the standard of care that your loved one is receiving, you should bring your concerns directly to the care provider first. By speaking with them first, you can rule out the chance that the resident hasn’t actually refused the care that was offered. Good care providers will want to hear from you and will welcome any feedback,working hard to make sure that issues are resolved.
If you find that the care provider doesn’t take your concerns seriously, you can take your complaints to the Care Quality Commission. Concerns can then be raised with Local Authority, and if you find that this still isn’t yielding any results, your local government ombudsman is the next step of contact, with the final step being an appeal requiring legal hep through a judicial review.
To make things easier if you do decide to to take your complaints further, it’s important that you keep records of your issues, telephone calls you’ve made, and any meetings you attend. Be sure to keep details including what is discussed, who is present and the conclusions for each meeting. These notes will be useful to you as you can then refer back to them months or even years later.
For more information about choosing a care provider, check out this article.