Kensington & Chelsea
My father died unexpectedly in 2000. My mother continued to lead an independent life in the North of England until shortly after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and breast cancer. By 2018, she had declined both mentally and physical and relocated to a London Care Home as a private payer, in order to be closer to me
Discovering the severity of the issues adversely affecting residential care, including the ineffectiveness of the regulating body the CQC, predominately funded by the care providers, was a shock. My experience of residential care for the elderly during the past three years has left me with the view that profit led social care provision, particularly in residential care for the elderly, is completely the wrong model and must be changed.
The care home is under staffed and has been since my mother arrived, due to policy rather than recruitment issues or as a result of Brexit or Covid. Understaffing leads to a lack in providing the individual care needs of residents to support their wellbeing. Lack of experienced clinical lead and consistency of nursing staff inevitably results in poor monitoring of medical issues.
A good carer provides a specialist role. These people are “gifted” with the attributes required to provide CARE for the vulnerable. It is a fallacy to believe that anyone can be a carer. Those who are “gifted” to do so, deserve public recognition and to be paid appropriately. Recruitment should be rigorous, to ensure only those with the “gift” of care are employed to work with our vulnerable loved ones.
Many, with loved ones in care homes are currently battling alone with the effects of poor staffing levels, poor training and bad practice, all highlighted following the Covid pandemic lockdowns. Regrettably, those currently fighting the broken system don’t get adequate support. Like me, many subsequently joined national campaigns such as Peoples Care Watchdog and Care Campaign for the Vulnerable. These campaigns are providing vital practical support and raising awareness of the severity of problems in the residential social care sector throughout UK. I urge anyone who wants to help protect the vulnerable elderly in residential care and encourage radical change, to join us.