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Found 51 results
  1. News Article
    Four carers who were convicted of abusing patients at a secure hospital have been given suspended sentences. An undercover BBC Panorama investigation showed patients being mocked by staff at Whorlton Hall in County Durham between 2018 and 2019. The four former staff, who are all men, were sentenced on Friday after being convicted by a jury last year. Judge Chris Smith said Whorlton Hall was an "unpredictable and inherently frightening place to live". The specialist hospital for people with complex needs was privately run by Cygnet, but funded by the NHS. It has since closed. Judge Smith said Whorlton Hall had a "malign culture" and was an "unpredictable and inherently frightening place to live." He added: "Each of you failed those patients and their families. It was a fundamental breach of trust." Read full story Source: BBC New, 20 January 2024
  2. Content Article
    Monitoring and responding to deterioration in social care settings is critical to providing safe, effective and responsive care. Front-line staff are pivotal for highlighting change to wider teams and managing low to medium risk individuals in their place of residence. However, there is a core set of principles that most systems use which may not be used by non-clinical staff in residential settings. This case study explores an intervention to empower non-clinical staff to take observations. The Whzan blue box contains a digital tablet and equipment to take temperature, pulse, oxygen saturation levels and blood pressure measurements. Staff were trained and supported on site to use the system and set up a digital platform to share measurements with wider teams. Staff fed back that they felt empowered and able to better engage in conversation with health care professionals, highlighting the importance of having a common language. This case study was submitted to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) by North East and North Cumbria ICB.
  3. News Article
    A nurse with no qualifications gave a care home resident a fatal dose of the wrong drug, leading to her death before she then tried to cover up her mistake. Katherine Hutchinson gave Fiona Jayne Thorne a fatal overdose of a powerful anti-psychotic drug, which was meant for another patient, an inquest heard. She then tried to cover up her errors which contributed to the death of the 36-year-old with learning difficulties, Derbyshire Live reported . Ms Hutchinson had, at the time, been the nurse in charge at Whitwell Park Care Home, in Whitwell, Derbyshire despite not having any qualifications. She gave Miss Thorne clozapine, which had been intended for another resident, on October 6, 2010. Instead of owning up to what she did, Ms Hutchinson then tried to cover up her mistake by taking Miss Thorne to bed and leaving her there until she was discovered, Senior Coroner Dr Robert Hunter said. Miss Thorne was "found by the care support worker around midnight, when undertaking routine checks on residents”, the inquest heard. And then Ms Hutchinson’s mistake was only discovered after an audit was carried out of the medication trolley and a dosage of clozapine was found. Read full story Source: Mirror, 8 April 2022
  4. News Article
    Some care homes have "no choice" but to allow workers who have Covid to deliver care, a public health official said. According to Public Health England cases are rising the fastest in Somerset. As a result, care homes in the county are struggling to safely staff their services and schools are seeing a rise in staff sickness. Somerset Council said ensuring vulnerable residents received care was "lower risk" than them being infected. Health officials advised care workers to continue working only if they wore PPE and felt well enough. Council public health consultant Alison Bell said: "In some cases, we have no choice but to have people who are testing positive delivering care to people in Somerset. "That risk is actually less than that person not receiving care." She said the Omicron variant was more transmissible and people were getting re-infected with it, some within a matter of weeks. Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 March 2022
  5. News Article
    The UK risks becoming highly reliant on overseas care workers after nearly 58,000 visas were issued for the sector last year, a report says. Analysis by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford found that the demand for foreign staff had left the NHS and care homes open to “vulnerabilities” including “exposure to international competition for health workers and risks of exploitation”. The study, commissioned by the employment group ReWAGE, also examined where care workers were coming from. In 2022, 99% of care workers sponsored for work visas in the UK were from non-EU countries. The top countries were India (33%), Zimbabwe (16%), Nigeria (15%) and the Philippines (11%). Dr Madeleine Sumption, the director of the Migration Observatory, said: “Health and care employers have benefited a lot from international recruitment. “But relying this much on overseas recruits also brings risks. For example, care workers on temporary visas are vulnerable to exploitation and the rapid growth in overseas recruitments makes monitoring pay and conditions a real challenge.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 27 June 2023
  6. News Article
    Nine care home workers are facing trial for neglecting, verbally abusing and deliberately antagonising extremely vulnerable patients in care described as “devoid of kindness and respect” but also criminal. The six men and three women, aged 25-54, are being prosecuted after a reporter went undercover and filmed the behaviour for a BBC Panorama documentary. Opening the case at Teesside crown court in Middlesbrough, the prosecuting barrister, Anne Richardson, said the patients all resided at Whorlton Hall, a 17-bed independent specialist hospital unit near Barnard Castle, County Durham, operated by Cygnet Health Care. Richardson said caring for such residents was a “hard, demanding job, and that carers can face complex, difficult, obstreperous, and sometimes violent people who sadly do not realise what they are doing and cannot help their actions.” But they deserved to be treated with “kindness, respect and patience.” Richardson said the jury would hear evidence of ill-treatment which was “cruel and abusive”. It was “not only devoid of the respect and kindness that those residents deserved but was also a criminal offence”. It included care workers repeatedly saying words they knew to be triggers to patients, belittling those in their care and deliberately antagonising them. Read full story Source: The Independent, 8 March 2023
  7. News Article
    A dementia home care agency spent as little as three and a half minutes on taxpayer-funded care visits and filed records claiming far more care was given, according to evidence seen by the Guardian. The hasty care was exposed by Susan Beswick’s family, who called it “totally inadequate”. They say they had been told visits to 78-year-old Beswick, who has Alzheimer’s disease, were supposed to last 30 or 45 minutes. Across nine visits this month, care workers formally logged close to six hours of care. But security cameras suggest they were in the house for under one hour 20 minutes – less than nine minutes a visit on average. On one evening visit, footage showed two carers entering, asking if Beswick had eaten and checking her incontinence pad, before leaving three minutes and 15 seconds later. But they appeared to log on a care tracking app that they had been with her for one hour and 16 minutes. Beswick, who for years was a care worker herself, “deserves so much better”, said her daughter-in-law Karen Beswick. “It’s upsetting us the way mum is being cared for here,” she said. “They come in and check her [incontinence] pad and go. They are supposed to be encouraging her to drink. They don’t really talk to mum a lot. It’s not good at all. I will start crying. We are all trying to get the best for mum.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 30 January 2023
  8. News Article
    An 88-year-old woman with dementia was physically and mentally abused at a luxury care home charging residents close to £100,000 a year, the Guardian can reveal. Staff misconduct was exposed by secret filming inside the home run by Signature Senior Lifestyle, which operates 36 luxury facilities mostly in the south of England. It has admitted that Ann King was mistreated at Reigate Grange in Surrey earlier this year. Distressing footage from a covert camera inside her room shows: Care staff handling King roughly, causing her to cry out in distress. On one occasion she was left on the floor for 50 minutes. King being taunted, mocked and sworn at when she was confused and frightened. The retired nurse being assaulted by a cleaner, who hits her with a rag used to clean a toilet while she is lying in bed. The cleaner threatening to empty a bin on the pensioner’s head and making indecent sexual gestures in her face. The abuse was exposed by King’s children, Richard Last and Clare Miller. They became so concerned about her wellbeing at the care home, where she lived from January 2021 to March 2022, that they installed a hidden camera on her bedside table. They have shared the footage because they fear what happened to their mother may not be an isolated incident, and because: “She has always been horrified by this type of thing and we felt she would have wanted us to show this is going on.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 13 October 2022
  9. News Article
    A care home that will close after admitting "shortcomings in care" and failures in leadership has been labelled "not safe" by inspectors. The Elms in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire will shut later this month, and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the service to be inadequate. In May, the BBC first reported the concerns of relatives about The Elms after their loved ones died in 2019, weeks after a meeting in which worries were raised about "poor care". Inquests into the deaths of the residents - George Lowlett, Margaret Canham and David Poole - remain ongoing. HC-One also apologised to the family of Joyce Parrott, who died in April 2020. Inspectors found "people were not safe and were at risk of avoidable harm" and described multiple occasions when people had "not received their medicines as prescribed". Other findings included: Staff had not referred all potential safeguarding events to the local authority A failure to "establish systems to ensure people were effectively safeguarded from abuse" The provider had failed to learn when things went wrong "Widespread and significant shortfalls" in leadership No reliable record of the staff that had worked at the home and a reliance upon agency staff, which "resulted in people not receiving consistent care" Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 October 2022
  10. News Article
    A planned Amazon-style delivery system for personal protective equipment to care workers will not be nationally available for at least another fortnight, the housing and communities secretary has told MPs, before weekly figures for deaths in care and nursing homes which are on course to rise by more than 2,000. Robert Jenrick told the housing, communities and local government select committee on Monday that the logistics system for PPE could take three more weeks to launch. Clipper Logistics was contracted by the government at the end of March and care home operators have been increasingly outspoken in their warnings that a lack of masks, aprons, gloves, gowns and face shields is causing the spread of the virus in their facilities and putting workers’ lives at risk. About 340 people a day have been dying in care homes of COVID-19, according to official figures. The largest private care home provider, HC-One, said on Monday that 703 of its residents had died across the UK while last week, Sam Monaghan, the chief executive of MHA, the largest charitable provider, warned: “Our residents and staff have not received the enhanced level of protection they need. The government will be held to account for this.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 4 May 2020
  11. News Article
    Care homes looking after thousands of vulnerable residents have said none of their staff has been tested for coronavirus. Out of 210 care providers spoken to by the BBC, 159 said none of their workers had had a test. BBC England spoke to care homes and companies across the country, who between them employ nearly 18,000 staff and have almost 13,000 residents. Many said they had seen no testing at all, while others have spoken of struggles to access official test centres after reporting online that they have symptoms. Some have told how staff face long journeys to test centres, with one reporting a three-hour round trip. On Sunday it was announced that the military will begin testing essential workers in mobile units operating at sites in "hard to reach" areas, including care homes. Anna Knight runs Harbour House Care Home on the Dorset coast and said getting enough personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing for coronavirus were her biggest challenges. Read full story Source: BBC News, 26 April 2020
  12. News Article
    Almost 400 care companies which provide home support across the UK have told the BBC they still do not have enough personal protective equipment (PPE). Without protection, providers say they may not be able to care for people awaiting hospital discharge. Of 481 providers, 381 (80%) said they did not have enough PPE to be able to support older and vulnerable people. The government said it was working "around the clock" to give the sector the equipment it needs. The BBC sent questions to the nearly 3,000 members of the UK Homecare Association. About a quarter of respondents said they have either run out of masks or have less than a week's supply left. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 April 2020
  13. News Article
    A residential care home failed to notify the health watchdog about the deaths of people they were providing a service to, its report has found. Kingdom House, in Norton Fitzwarren, run by Butterfields Home Services, was rated "requires improvement". The home cares for people with conditions such as autism. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the registered manager and provider lacked knowledge of regulations and how to meet them. Inspectors found the provider failed to notify the CQC about the deaths of people which occurred in the home, as required by Regulation 16 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. The report also found people were at "increased risk" because the provider had not ensured staff had the qualifications, competence, skills and experience to provide people with safe care and treatment. Inspectors did, however, praise the "positive culture" at the home, that is "person-centred", and noted the provider was "passionate about their service and the people they cared for". Read full story Source: BBC News, 2 January 2020
  14. Content Article
    This guidance from the Care Quality Commission is aimed at adult social care services managers and staff. It explains the care needs associated with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
  15. Content Article
    The National Care Forum (NCF) represents not-for-profit organisations providing care and support services to adults in the UK. The NCF conducted a survey of its members over a five day period from 5-10 January 2022, considering the impact of the Covid-19 Omicron variant. Its results highlighted increased pressure faced by the care sector in this period, with staff absence being compounded by existing high vacancy rates and difficulties and delays with testing.
  16. News Article
    Care operators are facing acute staffing shortages caused by Omicron with more than 90 declaring a “red” alert, which means staffing ratios have been breached. Over 11,000 care home workers are off for Covid reasons, according to internal health system staffing data seen by the Guardian. One of the UK’s largest private operators, Barchester, is dealing with outbreaks in 105 of its 250 homes. It said that rules meaning homes with Covid cannot accept hospital discharges will cause backlogs in the already struggling NHS. Across England, 9.4% of care home staff are off work, according to government live data, with close to 3% absent because of Covid. The figures, which may be an underestimate because of the festive break, are drawn from submissions by thousands of care providers. “The spread of Omicron across the country will bring more care homes into outbreak, put huge pressure on the already compromised staff group and mean those who need care do not get it,” said Vic Rayner, chief executive of the National Care Forum. Many care operators said delays in getting PCR test results back were a key frustration, meaning workers who may not be infected were isolating longer than necessary." Stephen Chandler, president of the Association of Directors of Social Services, said councils were braced for calls for help from care operators and said “the care that people experience will be affected”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 5 January 2022
  17. News Article
    A care agency which left people "at risk of avoidable harm" by not ensuring staff had been properly trained has been put into special measures. Stars Social Support, which provides personal care to people living in their own home, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission earlier this year. Inspectors found safe recruitment procedures were not in place to make sure suitable staff were employed. A report following the inspection states that "safe recruitment procedures were not in place to ensure only staff suitable to work in the caring profession were employed." It said people's references had not been followed up after they had been requested, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service. The report added: "When the disclosure and barring service (DBS) identified concerns, a risk assessment had not been completed to assess staff suitability." Inspectors also found not all staff who provided care had received appropriate training or training updates to ensure they were competent. Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 November 2020
  18. News Article
    Three in 10 care home staff have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 despite being in the top four priority groups, according to data from NHS England. More than 435,000 workers in care homes for older adults are eligible in England, but only 304,600 have received a first dose. In London, only 52% of staff have had a jab, rising to 75% in the South West. The UK target of vaccinating 15 million people was met at the weekend. However, these figures, up to 14 February, suggest there are large groups of care workers, who are in the top four priority groups, who have still not come forward. Some care home staff have previously said they refused the vaccine because of "cultural issues", but organisations representing care providers say they must be convinced to have one - to protect them and the services they work in. Read full story Source: BBC News, 18 February 2021
  19. News Article
    Care watchdogs are investigating concerns that staff with Covid-19 have been working with care home residents as operators said absence levels are as high as 70% owing to sickness and self-isolation, increasing pressure to get staff back to work. The Care Quality Commission has ordered several councils to investigate allegations about the practice, which puts lives at risk, and possible breaches of the Care Act relating to abuse or neglect of residents. It is understood to be dealing with fewer than 10 cases. But the regulator has issued a warning to all care homes in England with the Department of Health and Social Care and council social services chiefs that “under no circumstances should staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether they are displaying symptoms or not, work in a care setting” until their self-isolation has ended. The Rights for Residents group said on Thursday it had been contacted by a carer whose boss had asked her to return to work only a few days after a positive test because of staff shortages. She refused and no longer works for the care home. In many homes, a quarter of staff are sick or self-isolating, with the ratio as high as 70% in some cases and operators are bringing in friends and family to try to cover shifts, said Nadra Ahmed, executive chairman of the National Care Association. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 28 January 2021
  20. News Article
    A care home in Birmingham has been heavily criticised by the care watchdog after it found physical and verbal abuse of residents with learning disabilities and autism had become “normal”. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said it had put urgent restrictions on Summerfield House, in Birmingham, to stop any more people being admitted there. The home was looking after four residents with disabilities in August when CQC inspectors found a string of concerns. Records revealed episodes of physical, verbal and emotional abuse of the residents with staff making threats to cancel activities or threatening to call the police. The CQC found staff were not able to recognise abuse, citing an example where inspectors saw a person being hit on the head by another person with no action being taken. The watchdog’s report said abuse was happening between residents and staff. Debbie Ivanova, CQC deputy chief inspector for people with a learning disability and autistic people, said: “Our latest inspection of Summerfield House found a truly unacceptable service with a poor culture where abuse and people being placed at harm had become normal, with no action taken to prevent incidents from happening or reoccurring." Read full story Source: The Independent, 28 September 2021
  21. News Article
    New rules for care home staff are set to come into force on November 11, 2021, requiring all staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19, unless they are exempt. Care homes will also be able to refuse entry to anyone who is unable to prove they have been fully vaccinated, with the Care Quality Commission warning that care homes will be monitored around their implementation of the new rules. In a letter to members of the House of Lords it warned: “The sector faces 112,000 vacancies currently, if the 5 per cent, who may eventually choose not to have the vaccine, leave the sector and are added to the current vacancies it will completely destabilise an already fragile sector.” Read full story. Source: The Independent, 23 August 2021
  22. News Article
    The prospect of care home workers being required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has moved a step closer, with a crucial endorsement from the UK’s human rights watchdog. Ministers are considering changing the law to make vaccination a condition of deployment for people in some professions that come into regular close contact with elderly and vulnerable people at high risk from the coronavirus. In a report to the government seen by the Guardian, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) admitted that making vaccines compulsory for care home staff would be a “significant departure from current public health policy”. But they judged that ministers were “right to prioritise protection of the right to life for residents and staff” and said it would be reasonable for care home workers to need a jab “in order to work directly with older and disabled people, subject to some important safeguards”. The EHRC is also likely to make a similar recommendation about healthcare workers, after the vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, suggested over the weekend that NHS staff could face mandatory jabs, too, as some patients were “being infected in hospital”. Zahawi said no decisions had been made yet, and stressed there was a precedent: surgeons were required to be vaccinated against hepatitis B. He added: “It would be incumbent on any responsible government to have the debate, to do the thinking about how we go about protecting the most vulnerable by making sure that those who look after them are vaccinated.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 2 June 2021
  23. News Article
    Nearly half of care workers in care homes have been both physically and verbally abused by the residents they are supporting, according to new research. A poll of 2,803 staff working in care homes revealed 17% have received verbal abuse from residents and 11% have been subject to physical abuse. A spokesperson for carehome.co.uk, said: “All over the UK, care workers are doing physically and emotionally demanding jobs on often low pay and long hours. Yet at the same time, the rewards of working in a care home can be huge, as you can build strong relationships with the people you care for and make deep, emotional connections." “Lashing out at staff is often a sign of frustration and it is vital care homes give staff dementia training so they can find the reasons behind this challenging behaviour. Care workers do such an important job and with around three-quarters of people in care homes having dementia, it is vital care workers are given adequate support and specialist training to care for them.” Read full story Source: Carehome.co.uk, 10 May 2019
  24. Event
    We all need care at some point in our lives. And as many as 8.8 million of us are already carers. Despite that, in just two years, the number of older people living with an unmet care need has risen by 19%. Why is our care system so neglected? Our care system was in crisis before the pandemic and remains in crisis now. It'll continue to be in crisis long after we're vaccinated against COVID-19. A system under stress, carers under pressure and those in need of care facing neglect. This is our new normal. Can nothing be done about this? Join our host, Claret Press publisher Katie Isbester PhD, and our three guests, as they grapple with the big issues that affect us all. They will talk with Professor of Sociology Dr Emma Dowling and the Director of UNICARE at UNI Global Union Mark Bergfeld, as well as acclaimed writer, with lived experience of care, Sarah Gray. Register
  25. Content Article
    The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) is an independent scientific advisory body that looks at industrial injuries benefit and how it is administered. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the IIAC has been reviewing and assessing the increasing scientific evidence on the occupational risks of Covid-19. This report builds on an IIAC interim Position Paper published in February 2021 and considers more recent data on the occupational impacts of Covid-19, particularly around the longer term health problems and disability caused by the virus. IIAC found the most convincing and consistent evidence was for health and social care workers in certain occupational settings, who present with five serious pathological complications following Covid-19 that have been shown to cause persistent impairment and loss of function in some workers.
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