You, a loved one, or client are already receiving care, whether it’s in a care home, care at home, or another setting, and everything has been going well. However, something appears to have changed and you feel that the care is not what you envisaged at the outset and have every right to expect. What can you do?
Establish the Facts
In the vast majority of cases, the care that is being provided will be very good, delivered by caring and well-trained carers. In many cases, families feel a sense of guilt that they can’t provide the care themselves and, as a result, may be very sensitive to what they see as shortcomings in the care being delivered. If you are worried about the care a loved one is receiving, you need to assess the situation as quickly as possible to either put your mind at rest, or, if there have been changes, take steps to address them.
Before you take any action though, you need to first of all take steps to establish whether the care is actually being delivered in accordance with both the care plan, and the promises that were made to you when you chose the care provider in the first place.
If you are a professional advisor, it may be that you have concerns about the care being delivered to a client. Or, it may be that you need to have the suitability of the care you have arranged for a client assessed as part of your due diligence. Whichever, an independent review of the care being provided will give you the information you need, to either confirm that all is well and the care is being delivered satisfactorily, or, that there are issues which need to be addressed.
Carry out the Review
Remember, the purpose of the review is to help you assess whether the care is being delivered appropriately, and in accordance with the individual's care needs. When you are carrying out any review, you will always achieve the best results when the subject of the review is unaware that they are being assessed.
If it’s a care home, one snap shot visit isn’t really sufficient to enable you to draw conclusions, unless you see something which is blatantly wrong and needs addressing immediately. It is better to form an opinion from a couple of visits, probably at different times of the day, so that you can observe daily life and the way that care is delivered, the way that the staff interact with the residents, the ability of residents to engage in activities and the general atmosphere in the home. Is there a buzz and does it feel well run?
If it is care at home, then a different approach will be required, where there are still a couple of visits, but more emphasis may be put on discussions with the person receiving care, still backed up by observations whilst the carer is in attendance and, a review of the care plan with the carer will also help to highlight any changes which may be needed.
What happens if shortcomings are found?
It will depend on what the shortcomings are, however, in the majority of cases the issues are likely to be operational/organisational and a discussion with the care manager should see immediate improvements. Examples of this in a care home may be too many carers in meetings, or taking breaks at the same time, resulting is residents not being engaged with effectively all the time. Highlighting this with the manager and seeing changes should be a relatively simple process. Most homes have a residents/family forum at which minor issues can be discussed and acted on.
In a home care situation, it may be that there are a number of carers delivering the care, so there is limited continuity for the person receiving care and little opportunity for relationship building. Again, a discussion with the care manager should bring improvements in the way care is being delivered.
Where a more serious matter is found, it may be appropriate to raise concerns with the authorities, such as the CQC, or local authority safeguarding team. They have a statutory obligation to investigate complaints and take whatever steps are necessary to put matters right.
Take the emotion out of the situation
Where it is a family member, bearing in mind our earlier comments on the natural reaction when a loved one needs care, it is important to be objective and assess the situation accurately, before taking any action. It is so important for the person who is receiving the care that they have as stable an environment as possible.
The Care Home Finder Reviews
Care Home Finder carry out reviews of existing care and the outcome when we have carried out reviews is almost always positive, with issues being resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, following a meeting with the management.
Care Home Finder has created two purpose designed Review processes, one for homecare and one for care homes. Our Care Review Service comprises a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s existing care provision, with the objective of ensuring that the right solution is in place going forward. It is available both directly to individuals currently receiving care at home, or residing in a care home AND to solicitors or other professionals with legal responsibilities, acting as deputies or attorneys for clients receiving care.
Fortunately, we have only once had a situation where the decision to move a client to a new home had to be taken. This was as a last resort, because the care delivery was failing the person in question and there seemed little likelihood of the situation improving. To be fair, the home the client was in was suitable when they first moved in, before we became involved, but their needs had changed and this hadn’t been picked up by the home.
At Care Home Finder, we are dedicated to helping people through the stressful and traumatic situation that reviewing care can be. We hope that this post has made the process a much less daunting prospect for you and your loved ones, or you clients and, if you would like an informal chat about how we can help you with a review, please either contact us here, or telephone on 0345 853 0300.