To refuse to visit client?

(58 Posts)
BumpingFuglies Wed 20-Mar-13 09:08:02

I'm a home carer and my colleagues and I have been having problems with one particular lady. She bitches about us to each other (there are 3 main carers), bitches about one of her relatives and is generally very nasty. She has physical health problems but is of sound mind.

She has recently refused to allow us to log in by phone (it's a freephone number and a condition of the care contract) and has used that to say that we haven't made visits etc. In such cases, we then ask the client to sign a form, so that there is a record of the visit, otherwise social services won't pay/we don't get paid. She has refused to do this as well.

My manager is well aware of all this but has said we have to keep going in. It's so stressful and the client is always trying to catch me out or complain about something. She has also now started to put a note on the door saying "gone out" when she is actually in. She cannot go out due to her health problems. This means I have to spend the time and petrol getting there only to find the visit refused. I'm on minimum wage and can't afford to do this.

I am dreading the next visit sad

DeepRedBetty Wed 20-Mar-13 09:28:20

Can you use time stamped photos to show that you attempted to visit but were denied entry?

quoteunquote Wed 20-Mar-13 09:54:03

Record the visit on your phone.

TroublesomeEx Wed 20-Mar-13 10:04:52

Presumably this is a care package set up by the LA. Is there someone higher up (e.g. her SW) that you could speak with about this?

XBenedict Wed 20-Mar-13 10:08:02

I am dismayed at the attitude of your manager. Can the 3 of you make an appointment to discuss this with your manager? This is a very unfair situation for you sad

madasa Wed 20-Mar-13 10:08:30

Presumably she has a care coordinator?

If you have access to work e-mail I would e-mail the care coordinator, your line manager, any other colleagues who see her and anybody else concerned.......after every single visit whether you saw her or not.

Cover your back.

Good luck

madasa Wed 20-Mar-13 10:10:18

Sorry....I have just re-read your post.

Are you saying that if she is not there or won't let you in that you lose that hour (or whatever it is) of pay?

Do you get paid mileage for visiting clients?

WallyBantersJunkBox Wed 20-Mar-13 10:14:02

Can't you insist that your supervisor accompanies you, or one of the other 3.

CarnivorousPanda Wed 20-Mar-13 10:16:49

Years ago when I worked as a home carer, I had a situation like this. The client was not happy with something I did and at each visit would complain and be rude.

I phoned the coordinator and stated simply that I would not be going back there as the relationship had broken down.

I found out subsequently that several other carers had had the same problem and had refused to visit as well.

I don't have any advice OP but that sounds hideous.

You don't have to like everyone that you work with, but you do have to be professional.
She is receiving support for a reason and as social services do not commission services lightly she must need the support.

You need to ensure that everything is documented.
Is there a care plan that you write in after each visit?
How is a failed visit logged?
If you're having to use your own mobile to call the office to inform them of a failed visit then you are within your right to ask for them to reimburse these calls so that you are not out of pocket.

Your manager should be informing the client's social worker/care manager after each and every failed visit, or of every incident that is occurring there.

I used to be a manager of a domicilliary care service, and if this was happening i would ask for a meeting with client and care manager. A procedure would be drawn up detailing the steps that would be taken if entry was refused/note was left on door - i.e. call office/log it with social services, what steps would be taken if the client was abusive - i.e. support worker would leave and inform office.

It's so important to have everything documented, and to ensure that social services are fully informed.

Also, if she has only recently stopped allowing you to make calls etc, i'd be querying whether her health was deteriorating, and this is something which needs to be raised with her care manager.

hairtearing Wed 20-Mar-13 10:33:54

Hmm, I would let the manager know all of your worries, and let them make the best decision.

she sounds awful though.

BumpingFuglies Wed 20-Mar-13 10:58:11

Gah, just posted a long response and lost it!

I ring the office after each visit (at my expense)

I don't get paid for a refused visit or mileage

My manager is still sending us in because the lady DOES need care. She does not want to leave her without care.

The client won't talk to her SW about it. And no, I don't have to like everyone, but I don't need to be insulted or lose money. I'm just fed up with it.

BumpingFuglies Wed 20-Mar-13 11:00:06

Peppa - there is a care plan, all visits are written up in the log. But if the visit is refused, I can't get in to write in it. It's logged on the system when I call from my own phone. Still don't get paid though

BumpingFuglies Wed 20-Mar-13 11:01:01

Oh, and this is the second care agency she has done this to.

Molehillmountain Wed 20-Mar-13 11:09:36

I'm shocked that you don't get paid for a refused visit. Where's the logic? You arrived to provide the service, it was refused. You should be paid. I guess some unscrupulous people would invent refused visits but surely management would spot a pattern. And it's then actually cost you to go and not get paid? That's so rubbish I'm almost speechless.

BumpingFuglies Wed 20-Mar-13 11:15:42

I know, Mole. My employer is otherwise very good. This only applies to SS clients though, not private ones who are still charged.

Molehillmountain Wed 20-Mar-13 11:23:52

Perhaps ss refuses to pay. Only shifts the perpetrator of the huge unfairness. Makes me mad-if you don't attend a doctors appointment they don't not pay him or her, or pay a teacher proportionally less for a chd who's away. Really sorry.

ENormaSnob Wed 20-Mar-13 11:28:45

I think you are going to have to take this further.

Completely unacceptable for you to be losing money because of this.

delilahlilah Wed 20-Mar-13 11:31:33

From a different angle, are you sure she is still 'of sound mind'? I ask, because a relative of mine went like this, she wouldn't let Social Services in either etc. It took more than 2 years for them to admit that she was 'confused' and she went down hill very quickly.
The refusal to pay you is wrong, and shouldn't be your problem. I would ask your manager to raise it with SS, stating concerns about her welfare as you cannot care for her.

BumpingFuglies Wed 20-Mar-13 11:37:11

I'm pretty sure she is of sound mind, I know her very well. She has done this before to other carers. I think she thrives on it because it gives her some form of control.

I have spoken to my manager a number of times. The problem is if I refuse to visit, she will have to find other carers to cover.

Latara Wed 20-Mar-13 11:40:04

I do understand how pissed off you must feel because although i'm always professional at work (HCA on a hospital ward) there are occasionally patients who deliberately 'bitch' about us or are generally not nice for whatever reason.

We more or less get told to ignore that behaviour but at least we are paid.

It's wrong for you not to be paid, i agree that the 3 of you should meet together with your manager.

Maybe look at protecting your own back by asking if 2 carers can see this woman - with patients who are like this i do always now ask for a 'chaperone' if possible (ie. another nurse / HCA to help with the care).
Luckily there are very few patients who are like this or we'd never finish our work!

I hope you have some nicer clients as well to make your working day pleasanter.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 20-Mar-13 11:40:18

I would refuse to go unless I was promised payment regardless of whether she opens the door or not.

For me it is very simple - no money = no visit. This is your job, you are not a charity.

madasa Wed 20-Mar-13 11:41:03

That is outrageous that you don't get paid for refused visits or mileage.

I work in a similar field (mental health) and our staff whinge enough because they are 'only' paid 40p per mile.

BumpingFuglies Wed 20-Mar-13 11:49:32

To be honest it's the terrible atmosphere more than the money. This client is systematically turning against every carer. I fear that she will end up with no care at all if she carries on.

I'll see how it goes at the next visit and make a decision then. It's really affecting my other work because I just dread going in there. It really grates because I've done a lot for her in my own time too, like picking up bits of shopping and researching special diets. I've gone out of my way to help her and now she has turned against me.

cozietoesie Wed 20-Mar-13 12:06:43

I'd second delilahlilah on this one. I would doubt whether she is truly of sound mind with this series of events. I think you absolutely have to raise this with your manager, putting it in writing as well. (Just be careful to make the written statement very factual.)

montage Wed 20-Mar-13 12:11:27

Sympathies for you with your agencies policies. I think that your agency is failing the client though.

I would (ask your manager to) report to Social Services or the Public Health Nurse (whoever instigated the referral) that the client is refusing care.

It is an issue of concern that the client is doing this and I am quite shocked that your manager is failing to report that tbh. Your manager is failing in her duty of care towards the client by not reporting that.

It is then up to Social Services to investigate the reasons why. And she may well need an proper neurological assessment - feelings of paranoia can be a warning sign. It's not possible to safely say that someone is of sound mind just by interacting with them informally tbh - there is an issue of concern here for this clients welfare.

madasa Wed 20-Mar-13 12:11:47

Bumping that sounds terrible.

Your company should be supporting you.

We deal with some very complex people but at the end of the day if our service keeps being refused it is stopped.

I guess the difference is that our workers are paid whether the visit goes ahead or not so it is costing the LA a lot of money if visits keep being refused.

I hope you get it sorted.

maddening Wed 20-Mar-13 12:21:22

Has your manager spoken to the client to ask her why she is doing this and what could be done to turn it around?

My gran hated it fir example when they came to early in the morning - if it's a control thing then maybe giving her sone autonomy over timing of visits etc might help her and you?

BumpingFuglies Wed 20-Mar-13 14:29:22

Manager has reported it to as and spoken to client. Client now refuses to talk to manager or sw. She has done everything she can.

BumpingFuglies Wed 20-Mar-13 14:32:05

I take your point montage it's just my opinion that she knows what she is doing

maddening Wed 20-Mar-13 14:33:51

What did the client say to your manager and sw about her refusal?

BumpingFuglies Wed 20-Mar-13 15:07:11

I don't know maddening

The client will not end up with no care. I'm just hoping that your manager is being open and honest with the SW. When I used to organise care plans at SS, I liked to talk to the workers, not the managers. They were the ones on the ground and had a better grasp of the clients' needs and everyday issues and weren't in it for the money unlike some managers.

"I have spoken to my manager a number of times. The problem is if I refuse to visit, she will have to find other carers to cover."
And those other carers can also refuse to not be paid.

IMO this is NOT YOUR PROBLEM, it is your manager's problem. They cannot insist that you are out of pocket for phonecalls/petrol because she refuses your visit. You really need to shift this back to your manager to deal with it, and wash your hands of it. It is also in this client's best interests for you to do so, as otherwise the lack of actual visits will continue indefinitely.

BumpingFuglies Wed 20-Mar-13 18:29:03

Where I know you're right about being about of pocket. I want to refuse because of the way the client is behaving towards me and my colleagues though.

I'm sure it will get sorted out soon because if SS stop paying the agency bills, they won't send us in anyway.

Got a meeting tomorrow with manager, I will bring it up then.

CerealMom Wed 20-Mar-13 19:24:32

Can you contact ACAS/UNISON re. the turning up but not being paid?

BumpingFuglies Wed 20-Mar-13 19:38:42

I guess I could CerealMom but I don't think it would make much difference. I'm on a zero hours contract and no record = no pay as far as I understand. It's a highly unusual situation to be fair. I've never known this to happen before.

theboob Wed 20-Mar-13 19:46:46

so the agency are still being paid by ss regardless of care or not ?

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Wed 20-Mar-13 20:26:51

Nice carers are like gold dust and it sounds like you really tried to meet her needs, so you must be quite upset about it.

Agency work contracts are awful for the carers & I think they shouldn't be allowed... But that doesn't really help you now does it!

Can you refuse to go to her? You shouldn't be out of pocket because of it.

Domjolly Wed 20-Mar-13 20:29:35

Cant you take a picture with you in the ladys home the photo will have the time and the date taken

MidniteScribbler Wed 20-Mar-13 21:44:35

I would start your own log of any incidents or communications involving this woman and her care. You need to protect your own back. Take time stamped photographs of notes on her door or the front of her house for refused visits and include those with the log. Then send the log to your manager with a formal notice that due to the refused visits, vindictive complaints and loss of your valuable time which could be spent servicing other clients, that you refuse to visit this lady unless you are paid for your time. If the company decides to send another carer, that is their problem, but you need to put your foot down and say no unless they pay you for your time.

cumfy Wed 20-Mar-13 23:24:07

Would you be able to find an agency that does pay for refused visits ?

It sounds an incredibly dodgy policy and yes don't visit client.

BadztMaru Thu 21-Mar-13 07:28:18

I'm sure there's a limit to the time that the client can cancel and ss not be charged? In your case, the client have no notice so you should still be paid. You should also be paid mileage, you need to speak to your manager.

scottishmummy Thu 21-Mar-13 07:38:14

The issues are client has been assessed for home care package which agency provide
The client is declining you access,you report erratic result strained working relationship
These issues need reported to the sw by agency,and a meeting arranged to discuss client

travellingwilbury Thu 21-Mar-13 07:39:09

I also work in home care and I have known situations like this before . The difference is that I would still be paid .

I love my job but one piece of advice I always try to remember is " don't make any decisions above your pay scale "
I know it doesn't exactly fit this scenario but you are worrying about it and shouldn't be .

Next time you see her name on your rota you should ring your line,manager and tell them you will not be visiting unless you get paid . I will also be surprised if the agency are really not being paid at all for a refused visit .

scottishmummy Thu 21-Mar-13 07:43:43

Btw,the agency will get paid irrespective of whether you got access as it's a block commissioned purchase
It seems v unfair you attempt ti gain access,undertake work but if client declined you not get paid
I must also say your language about the client is don't need to like her but respect is needed.have you considered the impact if physical pain on mood, other factors you might not know

travellingwilbury Thu 21-Mar-13 07:51:50

Also , I am sure she will have a good ( to her ) reason for refusing care .

Has a friend / relative / neighbour cone on the scene lately ?
Is something going on medically that is putting her under pressure ?
Has she been watching too much news / reading the daily mail about people with disabilities losing benefits ?

All of these things and many many more could be affecting how she is behaving and her sw needs to know she is not receiving care .
Your line manager needs to escalate this .

MoreBeta Thu 21-Mar-13 08:10:11

Bottom line is you are not being paid and manager is doing nothing about it.

Put this entire issue in writing in full including an estimate of total pay and costs you are due. Every time you visit this person and getting refused you are just faciliating your manager not doing anything about it.

You are zero hours so it is effectively piece work you are doing. No pay = no work. It is not your problem. You do need to be paid.

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 21-Mar-13 10:58:04

Sounds very dodgy. SSD normally pay on a block contract, so I wonder if the agency are claiming those hours anyway. Regardless of that, this lady has obviously been assessed as needing home care for a reason. Your manager needs to call the social worker and ask for a review. Maybe she still needs help, maybe she doesn't, maybe she has some confusion. Sometimes what you see isn't the whole picture. If your manager isn't pushing for a review, then ring the social worker yourself and tell her that the lady is refusing visits. It is her right to refuse visits, but the reason why needs to be ascertained, to make sure she isn't at risk.

cumfy Thu 21-Mar-13 14:38:42

Just a thought.

Are there any other clients very close by, so you could twin the visits, visitting her 2nd ?

cumfy Thu 21-Mar-13 14:47:12

Also you could suggest to the agency that the CQC should be informed of the care arrangements.

BumpingFuglies Thu 21-Mar-13 18:09:29

scottish it has all been reported to the sw and client has refused to talk to her. How am I being derogatory?

BumpingFuglies Thu 21-Mar-13 19:20:02

Cumfy I will suggest that

BumpingFuglies Thu 21-Mar-13 20:13:32

I do feel that my employers are supporting me, and that my manager is doing all she can. I discussed this with her today and explained that if the situation continues or there are further refused visits, I will not go any more. She wasn't happy but understands.

I do feel strongly that the client has an "agenda" and gets a kick out of this sort of thing.

Mytwobeautifulgirls Thu 21-Mar-13 20:49:38

document everything in the clients notes. if it's not down in the notes it didn't happen. that is your proof that u tried to attend to give personal care etc but pt has refused document absolutely everything including she won't allow u to log in on the phone.

BumpingFuglies Thu 21-Mar-13 21:32:03

Have done mytwo, but thank you.

scottishmummy Fri 22-Mar-13 07:22:35

Document yes,accurate and objective,factual.attempted entry x time,client declined
I'm commenting on language you've used about client,bitches,nasty,has agenda
but maybe that's how you are online as opposed to real life. But tbh it's not your role to speculate on her sound mind,or motives

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