The following article is reprinted with the kind permission of Roy Lilley:
Once again Andrea Sutcliffe, the care-home inspector, is doing the rounds of the media
outlets, cheerily telling us how terrible everything is…
One in three nursing homes in England are ‘failing’.
You have a one in three chance of leaving yer-granny or precious mum, in the hands of people who will not give her enough to drink, not help her to toilet in a civilised way, not ensure she takes her medications on time… don’t feed her, talk to her or treat her with even the kindness of a stranger.
A one in three chance of warehousing her when you thought you were helping her to live out her days in a home from home.
Fundamental, basic nursing and care… absent for nearly a quarter of a million people who live in nursing homes. Get that… nursing homes; not care homes. Nursing homes!
Care homes? A quarter of them, and home-helps, rated as not safe enough. Safe enough. Get that… safe enough. Never mind ‘good enough’.
The best Andrea Sutcliffe can manage? Some potty idea of a ‘Mum test
When choosing a care home, she tells us, be sure ‘it is a place that is good enough for your Mum‘.
How are you supposed to know? What is the test? How can you measure? Homes will be at their smarmy best to entice a lucrative, new self-pay client. Its a lottery with a three sided dice.
The smell of urine?
‘Oh yes Mr Lilley; I’m afraid one of our residents has just had an accident and we are in the middle of clearing up….’
The CQC are bystanders. Expensive bystanders. Spectators with VIP tickets, watching as the care system implodes.
I listened, this morning, to Andrea Sutcliffe on the BBC Today Programme. The producers might not have bothered her to get out of bed early and traipse to the studio. They could have played the archive version of her interview last year.
Andrea Sutcliffe is trapped in an Olafur Eliasson
world of perpetual climbing and descending.
obsession where night is day and day is night.
A world where services are good but they are bad, where they are safe but not, clean but dirty, well run and abandoned.
It is no longer good enough to say most care homes are good. The incidence of bad homes is now so high that it undermines any idea that the good homes are really any better… the inspectors just happened to turn up on the right day.
Andrea Sutcliffe is not responsible for care that’s not good enough for your dog. The care home operators are.
Andrea Sutcliffe is not responsible for the fact that since 2010 public funding has crippled the sector.
Andrea Sutcliffe is not responsible for the fact that one care home a week is closing
…but she is responsible for the fact too many stay open providing unacceptable care. If these hell-hole places really are not safe… close them.
It is the politicians and the care home operators job to make them safe, not Andrea Sutcliffe’s job to wrap one in three in a narrative that the other two are OK.
Do not put your relative in a care home unless you buy a bedside digital alarm clock with a remote control, hidden CCTV camera with a 4GB memory card. They cost thirteen quid.
Better still find one that sends realtime images to your smart phone.
In unsafe homes embed CQC management to work in the home until it is safe. Give them statutory powers to run, manage and train the home until they knew what good looked like and delivered it.
Who pays? The care-home.
Two special measures that work…
Have a good weekend’.