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Found 118 results
  1. News Article
    Hundreds of people are dying in care homes from confirmed or suspected coronavirus without yet being officially counted, the Guardian has learned. More than 120 residents of the UK’s largest charitable provider of care homes are thought to have died from the virus in the last three weeks, while another network of care homes is reported to have recorded 88 deaths. Care England, the industry body, estimated that the death toll is likely to be close to 1,000, despite the only available official figure for care home fatalities being dramatically lower. The gulf in the figures has prompted warnings that ministers are underestimating the impact of Covid-19 on society’s most frail, and are failing to sufficiently help besieged care homes and workers. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 7 April 2020
  2. Content Article
    My dad is 60 years old. He was diagnosed with young-onset dementia 3.5 years ago. For the past 2.5 of those, he has been relatively stable – a slow, but steady decline. In the past year, he’s changed dramatically. Problem 1 – why were they left with no ongoing support? As Dad is young, he slipped through the net of adult social care. Apart from a home visit 3.5 years ago, my parents have been left to deal with the dementia by themselves. No one knew who should pick his care up. Just before Christmas, we hit crisis point – Dad’s behaviour was becoming far too difficult and unpredictable for one person to handle. In February, we’d had another home visit and a checklist assessment was carried out. This was the first step towards help through an NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment. Problem 2 – No protocol in place for adults with young-onset dementia Fast forward a month, and adult social care has washed their hands of Dad. Even though he’s an adult, he doesn’t fall under their team. He falls under the mental health team – and even though they work in the same building, his case hasn’t been transferred internally. The request for help has to be resubmitted. So, we start again. Problem 3 – COVID-19 hits The COVID-19 pandemic is a stressful time for all of us. But for carers, there’s an extra layer of uncertainty – how long will any respite or day care continue, before they’re left out in the cold? More pressingly for our family, Dad’s care home went into lockdown while he was there for respite. It meant we faced the agonising choice – leave him there for the foreseeable, or know that we would have no help, support or relief from his 24-hour care needs. We opted to leave him there. A few weeks later, the fever started. The next day, his persistent cough developed. The care home wanted him out and asked my mother to collect him – against all Government and NHS advice. They risked him passing it onto her. My initial concern was if he did, who would call for help if she needed it? The situation calmed and he has been allowed to stay for at least the remainder of his period of self-isolation. But, while he’s there he’s just sitting alone in his room. No one to talk to, no comprehension of what’s going on outside. Nothing. What will he be like after self-isolation? Will his dementia deteriorate rapidly? Will he recognise anything afterwards? Only time will tell. Problem 4 – the financial assessment As part of NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, the adult social care element requires a financial assessment. (Yes, you’ll note adult social care is apparently taking an interest now money is involved.) They ask that you try to fill in the mammoth form within 7 days. It’s overwhelming, especially in the middle of a stressful situation. You’re given no information as to what support package you might be offered – but expected to give out some of the most personal details about yourself. The pandemic has exacerbated an already overburdened sector. There’s no face-to-face support for those overwhelmed with documentation. There’s no time to explain what it all means. There’s no time for help for those who need it. How can the Government help? Government has stepped in to provide much needed help and support to many people – but their job is essentially fighting fires. Adult social care is a ticking time bomb, and it’s putting people’s lives at risk. I’ve three asks of them: Care assessments must continue. Care homes must treat those with COVID-19 in line with NHS and Government guidance. Adult social care services must be adequately funded to allow them to fulfil their duties and provide support during this nightmare time.
  3. News Article
    The first two coronavirus deaths among care workers in England were announced, as industry leaders hit out at chronic shortages of protective equipment and urged the government to start treating social care as “a second front line”. Carol Jamabo, 56, a community carer for Cherish Elderly Care in Bury in Greater Manchester, died last Wednesday. Another carer died in a home run by MHA, the UK’s largest charitable social care provider, which said it was unclear where she contracted the virus. The death of a West Dumbartonshire care worker that emerged on Sunday was also confirmed by the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon. The fatalities came amid rising concern that those working in social care still do not have the protection they need amid the Covid-19 pandemic and that, without testing for the virus, staff risk contaminating care homes where elderly people are supposed to be “shielded”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 6 April 2020
  4. News Article
    On any normal day the Oak Springs Care home in Liverpool is a hive of activity, laughter ringing out as its elderly residents enjoy dancing, creative crafts and bingo. Yesterday it was quiet, the inhabitants confined to their bedrooms and stark notices on the door warning visitors against entering, as word spread that a third resident had died in hospital that morning after a corona-virus diagnosis. Of the 66 remaining residents, 52 are exhibiting symptoms. Four were put on end-of-life care plans this week, a situation described by Andrea Lyons, the general manager, as “our absolute worst nightmare”. She said: “These are people who we love, who we spend more time with than our families. It has been difficult beyond the worst you can imagine”. Read full story Source: The Times, 2 April 2020
  5. News Article
    A father has described the "huge impact" of losing respite care for his young daughter who has complex special needs. Tim Clarke and his wife Ana look after their six-year-old daughter Molly at home in Worcester. The family normally receives a few hours of outside care and educational help a week, but that ended with the coronavirus pandemic. Molly has been diagnosed with autism and also has medical issues including a cyst on her brain. One charity worker from the Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) Society, a condition which is on the autism spectrum, described parents of children with special needs as being in "survival mode". Watch video Source: BBC News, 1 April 2020
  6. News Article
    Nurses caring for patients in the community have been spat at and called ‘disease spreaders’ by members of the public, according to England’s chief nurse and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). The nursing union urged members of the public to support the UK’s “socially critical” nursing workforce during the coronavirus outbreak. The RCN said it had received anecdotal reports of community nurses receiving abuse while working in uniform. Separately, England’s Chief Nurse Ruth May said she had heard reports of nurses being spat at. Susan Masters, the RCN’s director of policy, said abuse of nurses was “abhorrent behaviour”. She said a number of nurses had raised concerns about abuse on forums used by members to talk confidentially. Describing one incident she told The Independent: “These were community nurses who had to go into people’s homes and were in uniform. Members of the public who saw them called out to them and said they were ‘disease spreaders’.” She added: “We don’t know how big this problem is, it is anecdotal, but it is absolutely unacceptable. Read full story Source: The Independent, 21 March 2020
  7. News Article
    A police investigation has been launched into an alleged assault against an elderly patient with Alzheimer’s by NHS staff at the troubled East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. The Independent can reveal nurses and carers at the William Harvey Hospital have been suspended after being filmed by hospital security staff for eight minutes allegedly holding down the man’s arms and legs as well as his face while they inserted a catheter. The trust has confirmed it has launched an investigation and alerted police after the incident on 15 December on the Cambridge J ward at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford. A spokesperson “apologised unreservedly” for the incident and said it was being treated with the “utmost seriousness”. A whistleblower spoke out to The Independent about the incident, fearing it was being covered up by the trust after staff were told “don’t discuss it, don’t refer to it at all”. The senior clinician said they had decided to go public after the “horrific” incident because of the trust’s toxic culture and concerns for the welfare of other patients on wards. Read full story Source: The Independent, 7 February 2020
  8. Content Article
    My much loved daughter-in-law, Mariana Pinto, died on 16 October 2016. She was 32. Her tragic and unexpected death raised many questions for us about standard practice by psychiatric services and about patient safety. The evening before she died, Mariana was taken by ambulance to her local A&E department, escorted by four police officers, and handcuffed for her own safety. She was psychotic – delusional, paranoid, violent and very distressed. She had attacked her husband (my son) who had visible bite marks, scratches and bruises. It was a first episode and totally out of character. She had not eaten or slept for several days. In A&E she was brought food and drink but spat it out, believing it to be poisoned. She kept trying to escape from the cubicle. The police stayed, stating that she was extremely vulnerable. Eventually she agreed to take a sedative – but not before she had held it under her tongue for some time, and only after we, her family, were able to persuade her that she should take it. Once she was finally sedated, she was given various tests to rule out any physical cause, and a mental health act assessment. This was done with her and her husband together. There was no attempt to see him separately. She was deemed competent to make decisions about her care, and as she wanted to go home, was discharged, with a referral to the local Crisis Team, who we were told would receive the referral at 8 am the following morning and would arrange to visit. The psychiatric team operate within A&E but for a separate mental health trust. This same trust runs the Crisis Team. It is deemed outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The following morning, there was no contact from the Crisis Team. My son rang them at midday to ask when they would visit. They said normally between 5 and 7 pm on Sundays and to ring back if he needed to. He rang back at 3.30 pm stating that she had deteriorated rapidly and asking for the visit to be brought forward. He was told that it could not be. At 4.00 pm Mari ran out of the open door to the roof terrace and jumped off it. She did not survive her injuries. The Coroner gave a narrative verdict, making it clear that Mariana did not know what she was doing, though her actions were deliberate. She also gave a Prevention of Future Deaths Report. Whilst the trust is obliged to reply, there is no statutory obligation to demonstrate that the actions they have promised have actually been taken. There was no attempt at any risk assessment. There was no attempt to check that my son could speak freely (he could not – it was a studio apartment). There was no attempt to call the emergency services on his behalf, and no attempt to check he had been able to do so. None of this is regarded as negligent or especially problematic. Since her death the Crisis Team do visit on Sunday mornings. We also found out that the number we were given to call was for service users already allocated a key worker, rather than a more general number – but as my son spoke to senior staff on each call, this should not have made a difference. After her death we raised the following questions: Surely given the bite marks and bruising, her husband should have been allowed to give his information to the psychiatric team separately? No, it turns out that while this would have been good practice, it was not negligent. Surely, given that her family knew and loved her, we should have been asked post sedation if she seemed like herself (she did not). No, it turns out that this is not seen as necessary. It’s not even regarded as good practice. Surely, given that she was paranoid and had told the police that she did not trust her husband, her husband should have been given private space to discuss the discharge and rehearse what to do if things went wrong once the sedative wore off? And surely we should have been told that the Crisis Team is not instead of calling 999 in an emergency. And efforts made to help us to decide if the situation was an emergency. No, it turns out that while this would have been good practice, it was not negligent. The mental health trust has now introduced a written discharge template for care and contingency planning. We have been told that the circumstances of Mariana’s death were unusual and could not have been foretold. That may be. But there are still lessons to be learnt. To improve patient safety in mental health crisis and to learn from deaths, we need to change standard practice. It should become standard to: See family and friends separately if someone is paranoid, to understand the family’s concerns, learn more about the patient and work together to consider how best the patient can be kept safe and helped. Provide written care and contingency plans to patients and their family Use one number for a Crisis Team helpline, with clear policies to offer help and support to service users and to their carers, and proper protocols in place to assess risk and intervene if someone is at immediate risk of harm. Make it very clear to patients that a referral to a Crisis Team is not a substitute for calling 999 in an emergency (where there is an immediate risk of harm to the patient or others) and to distinguish between a crisis and an emergency. Other professionals have a role in this too: On discharge, the A&E staff (who were very kind and very concerned) could invite the family to come back if the situation deteriorates, making it clear that it was an emergency, was a legitimate use of 999 and of A&E, and that the Crisis Teams are not for emergencies. The police could do the same, if they are trusted by the family (in many cases they are not).
  9. Content Article
    How you can contribute: The project leads are looking for suggestions from colleagues who may have worked with domiciliary carers and tested ideas around deterioration. Any advice on measures and impact and data sources is also encouraged.
  10. Community Post
    Hello everyone, We know there is much learning to be gained from listening to patient and families. This is particularly true when it comes to patient safety. Have you had an experience that you'd like to share with us? Maybe you identified a risk or shared a concern and were listened to and unsafe care was avoided? Maybe you weren't listenied to or you didn't realise what was going on and you or your family member were harmed? How did you find out about the patient safety incident? Was information shared with you that you needed to know? Were you supported? Was there an invetsigation into the incident and were you invited to contributed to it? Were lessona learned and acted upon? Have others learned from this experience, do you know?
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