Care home understaffed.

(14 Posts)
USB234 Mon 26-Aug-19 01:46:15

I’m currently working as a carer in a care home and I’m shocked and disgusted with how few staff they employ. I’m left on my own to look after 10 vulnerable residents only getting help to provide personal care to the residents that must have 2 carers such as when using a hoist and this help is very minimal.

The company expects far too much work from just 1 carer looking after 10 residents.

Then I get told off if things are not as they should which is impossible because there’s not enough time and I can’t be in 2 places at once.

At any time I could have 3 or 4 people wanting my attention or there could 3, 4 or more people in trouble and needing my urgent attention. To provide proper safe care and care with dignity, 1 carer for 10 residents is simply not enough.

I’m often unable to provide care with dignity to residents because I’m always rushed, I have no choice but to very often ignore residents and not provide the level of personal care they deserve or spend enough time making sure they are eating and drinking enough or getting enough daily interaction with me.

What really winds me up is that if poor care is found, then I will get the blame and will be accused of abuse but it’s not my fault. I’m only one person and there is only so much I can do.

For example I have to prioritise the residents that need more help and this means ignoring other residents. On camera it will look like I’m being abusive but it’s the opposite, at any given time I’m prioritising those who need my assistant more than others because they are at higher risk of injury.

I enjoy the job but the lack of staff makes this job horrid. They could get more staff including more agency workers but they don’t want to spend the money.

As as a result residents are at a higher risk of falls and injury and there have been falls and injuries. Sometimes a resident falls and the managers ask us to keep quiet and not report it.

I’m disgusted at what I’ve seen. How do care homes get away with this??? And how can carers be the ones prosecuted for abuse when a lot of the time, they have no choice but to rush residents, ignore them, refuse to assist them to the toilet etc. For example I’ve had to refuse residents assistance to the toilet when there isn’t another carer available to assist me and I don’t feel it’s safe to take that resident to the toilet on my own in case they get injured. Other times I simply don’t have the time and residents have to wait quite a long time.

The next time you see the vilification or carers or short videos of carers ignoring or rushing residents, ask yourself whether that carer is exhausted trying to meet the complex needs of 10 vulnerable adults, an impossible task.

In order to provide minimum care for 10 residents, then there should be at least 2 carers at all times and preferably 3.

OP’s posts: |
AgentProvocateur Mon 26-Aug-19 05:16:10

Talk to your supervisor about your concerns. If you don’t get anywhere, contact the Care Commission (or English/Welsh/NI equivalent)

Crustytoenail Mon 26-Aug-19 05:31:26

This is why I had to get out of care. The bottom line is money talks and it's so much easier to blame the staff on the floor, the only people who have less of a voice are the poor residents this is done to. You're told to whistleblow and report - yet nothing happens to change it. Then there's public outcry when something goes tits up and the staff on the floor get the blame. 'Lessons are learned' by the big shots apparently so this will 'never happen again' and everything goes back to how it was. Over and over again.
The only advice I can give you is to report any concerns to your line manager, and then the CQC if nothing changes. However the 'minimum standards' set by them are piss poor to start with, so on paper, they may be being met.
The only way this kind of thing will ever change is for care providers to have profit capped and forced to use the money they get for what it's intended - providing a decent standard of care.
It's a national disgrace, but nothing seems to ever actually truly change.

QueenOfPain Mon 26-Aug-19 05:33:08

I think this is probably the case in almost every care home in the country.

prh47bridge Mon 26-Aug-19 08:40:06

In order to provide minimum care for 10 residents, then there should be at least 2 carers at all times and preferably 3

A typical care home has around 12 residents for each HCA and auxiliary at night. The ratio is better during the day with around 7 residents for each HCA/auxiliary.

The issue is money. The fees paid by residents are not enough to provide the level of staffing you believe is needed.

euro23451277 Mon 26-Aug-19 08:45:04

I’d have at look at your whistleblowing policy and contact the CQC

USB234 Mon 26-Aug-19 12:53:07

Additionally I’ve never worked anywhere where I’m treated so bably. You get constantly told off and shouted at and the work is very hard and the pay is the worst I’ve had in a long time.

I’m glad I’m doing the job for now as I think it adds life experience, it has taught me to handie very stressful situations and it’s teaching me to become more assertive, stand up for myself more as well as teach me to remain calm and ignore terrible attitudes from some others and show them it won’t get to me.

It’s not a job I could do for years and years. It has opened up my eyes to a lot of things.

The carers who do well in this job are the ones who don’t really care.

If you care too much in doing a good job and looking after the residents, you’ll never get promoted and will get constantly told off.

The ones here who do well are the ones who work quickly pretending the residents received proper care and signing for it in the paperwork.

OP’s posts: |
HappyHammy Mon 26-Aug-19 23:01:36

It can be a thankless task but also rewarding when done properly. Your residents deserve a high level of care. You should not put yourself or residents at risk. You should not agree to cover up falls and incidents, if I were you I would contact the CQC and your local adult social services safeguarding team. Badly run and deceitful carehomes should not be allowed to look after vulnerable people . Falsifying records is a real safeguarding abuse issue and I would expect staff who do that to be dismissed for gross misconduct. I'd be tempted to film the lack of care.

HappyHammy Mon 26-Aug-19 23:03:32

Not being able to offer safe care because of staffing shortages is not abuse, not reporting it might be,

CherryPavlova Mon 26-Aug-19 23:13:47

It’s impossible to determine the necessary staffing levels without considering the level of dependency of the residents. Poor staffing levels are a false economy as good care costs less.
I would suggest contacting CQC using a share your knowledge form on the website. Try and give specific information as vague ‘ I don’t think there are enough staff’ won’t be enough to take action. Give dates, number of staff and number of residents. Say which needs could not be met - just we didn’t have time to help three patients eat so took their food away untouched on 24/7 is better than ‘not enough staff.
Say if any residents have had Falls due to being unsupervised or if anyone has grade 3 pressure damage. Detail is essential in any reporting.
If you know records are falsified say by whom and when.
Not all care homes are the same; many provide good care and staff say they enjoy working there. The culture is key to delivering good quality care. I would suggest moving homes.

GiggleMcDimples Mon 26-Aug-19 23:27:32

This is definitely NOT the case in every care home. I work in a nursing home with 39 residents, and during the day there are 8 carers, 3 lead carers and 1 qualified nurse plus an activities coordinator. And that is bare minimum. At nights there are 6 carers minimum (including at least 1 lead carer) and a qualified nurse.

GrannySquares Mon 26-Aug-19 23:30:58

The entire reasons you've listed in your post are the reasons why I decided to leave the care industry and never go back to it. My example was I had to look after 12 residents all by myself in a 46 bed care home with just 3 - 4 staff running it. Some were agencies who had no idea what they was doing! It's a disaster that keeps on happening because all they want is £££££.

Graphista Tue 27-Aug-19 01:26:36

I worked in elderly care for a number of years, I was fortunate at the time to be in a position where I was able to leave places that were poorly run and pretty much walk into another job within days! I was child free at the time and the economy was doing much better. I also on one occasion ended up working in a facility for severely disabled "children" (mainly teens but a few young adults too) which was poorly run. I reported them each time to the appropriate authorities but never found out if the issues were addressed. I hope they were.

What you are witnessing is illegal and very definitely unethical.

You have a duty to report what's going on to the appropriate authorities (especially if you belong to w professional body - that body may have support for whistleblowers too) that can include the cqc, social services, even the police depending how bad it is.

You can do so anonymously.

It's completely unacceptable.

"However the 'minimum standards' set by them are piss poor to start with, so on paper, they may be being met." Have to agree with this though, pretty sure they've been set by nobody that's done even one shift as a carer!

"I think this is probably the case in almost every care home in the country." I disagree with this though I've worked in very good homes too, run by genuinely caring not overly profit motivated owners/managers.

"The carers who do well in this job are the ones who don’t really care." That's inaccurate and really offensive! I "did well" in the job I absolutely DID care about the residents and wouldn't stand for them receiving poor quality, let alone outright neglectful care. A good, experienced carer can spot a good place vs a poorly run place at 20 paces!

How long have you been doing the job? Have you worked in more than one place?

They're not all the same not by a long way!

I totally agree the minimum requirements for staffing ratios, staff qualifications and experience, how tasks are managed, what equipment is provided and many other factors massively need to be raised. Good places have their own standards.

The reason they're not is there isn't the political will partly as residents are very unlikely to complain themselves (either fearful or not cognitively able to), there's not enough places anyway for the number of people who require care and raising standards would likely lead to fewer places, even whole homes closing and the govt doesn't want to have to pay to create and provide suitable places to replace those that are being provided by private but poor quality care and voters who have no experience or knowledge of how things are in the care community are uninterested or even actively opposed to more taxes being used in this way.

I find the latter most puzzling given that tory voters tend towards an older demographic! If there's one thing the silver vote should and could have real power to change and which is in that demographics interest its this!

USB234 Thu 29-Aug-19 20:08:20

Sorry, I was referring to the carers who work where I work. The sad fact is that the ones who don’t care get promoted. Management cares more about hoe quick a carer is. That’s it.

Where I work the carers who are the superstars are the ones who never assist residents brushing their teeth or clean residents dentures but signed that they have. They don’t bother giving residents a wash before or after bed but signed that they did, they don’t bother giving residents enough fluids to drink even on hot days but lie on paper, they don’t bother putting on the skin rash prevention cream on bottoms but sign that they did. They shout at residents and leave a woman in a wheelchair who can’t use her arms, leave her with no drink for most of the day because it takes too long to give her a drink. They don’t give proper showers, but very quick ones where hair usher even washed. They take residents plates of food away quickly before residents have finished eating because residents take longer to eat. They don’t bother to encourage difficult residents to eat or drink and just leave them.

They do all this so they can look super efficient. The few that do things properly and so take much much longer get shouted at by management.

This place is soul destroying.

OP’s posts: |

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