The decision to put a family member into a care home can be a difficult one, ultimately made for various reasons such as health conditions (either long or short term), disabilities, learning disabilities, drug or alcohol problems, and old age.
Jenny Barton from Pryers Solicitors, tells us more about how to make the right choice and the level of care that should be expected and what to do if you have concerns:
Once an individual becomes a resident in a care home, they have certain rights:
- To be fully informed of all discussions in relation to their care.
- To expect that any needs (care, treatment and support) are met.
- To be safe.
- To be treated by correctly qualified staff.
- For the care provider to routinely check the standard of services provided
Good care homes will ensure their residents are treated with respect and receiving the right standard of care, including a good quality of personal care. They will be washed and in clean clothes; their medical needs will be met, and medical records will be up to date. Additional needs will also be met and they will be happy.
Any concerns about standard of care within a home should always be raised with the care provider in the first instance, as this stage it is worth also ruling out that the resident hasn’t refused care offered. A good care provider will welcome feedback and work hard to resolve issues.
If talking to the care provider does not yield the wanted results, complaints can be taken external and the Care Quality Commission can be contacted.
Initially concerns should be raised with Local Authority, with the local government ombudsman being the next step if the issues still aren’t resolved. The final step would be an appeal through a judicial review which would require legal help.
As soon as it becomes apparent there are causes for concern, start keeping records. Make notes of telephone calls and meetings including who is present, the discussions and any conclusions reached. Having a diary of issues as they happen can help, write down everything so you can recall the details accurately if needed. Accurate contemporaneous notes will be useful as you can refer back to them during the process.