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Share your adult social care experiences with CQC - chance to win £300! NOW CLOSED!

(189 Posts)
EmmaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 15-Mar-18 15:50:36

We are working with CQC (Care Quality Commission), who through a current campaign #CareAware would like to make the public more aware of their inspection reports and ratings which can help people make informed decisions if you are choosing home care or a care home. With this aim in mind, they would like to hear your experiences of adult social care.

Here’s what CQC have to say: "Choosing care can be a real worry for people, their families and carers, wondering who or where to turn to – but CQC can help. The public needs to know about the quality of care services available and they also need to be reassured that if there are any problems, these are being identified and tackled.

That is why we publish regular inspection reports with quality ratings on more than 20,000 individual care services registered with CQC. This means that people have access to clear, independent and trusted information to help them make the right decisions for them or their loved one.

People can be confident that we find most care services in England are providing good, safe care. For those that need to do better, or are not getting any better, we take appropriate action to ensure providers either improve or stop providing care altogether.’"



Perhaps you want to share your experience of choosing a care home for yourself or a loved one – and want to share your tips with others in that position? Maybe you chose home care for yourself or for a friend, partner or relative? Or perhaps you want to tell us about your plans and conversations you are having with your family so that you or they do not have to make a rushed decision.

Whatever your experiences are, share them on the thread below and everyone who comments will be entered into a prize draw, where one lucky winner will win a £300 voucher of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck

MNHQ

Standard Insight T&Cs apply

The CQC is responsible for inspecting all hospitals, including private hospitals, GP practice, dentists, care homes, residential home and care provided in peoples own home in England.

Each inspection answers five key questions: Is the service safe? Is it effective? Are the staff caring and responsive to people’s needs and is the service well led?

ArchieStar Thu 15-Mar-18 17:11:53

My grandma has recently needed home care (now back in hospital but that's another story). I was her main carer up until recently when my health got worse. The home care we received was brilliant towards her, however... they reported us to social service on suspicion of neglect because we missed a few calls off them (due to work and children) and because they said she needed to go back into hospital. We said ok as long as it's not X hospital. Those combined apparent mean neglect.

Also, having worked for a care home company (spread across 2 sites) I can honestly say a lot was done "for show" when CQC were due. When I attempted to whistleblow this was covered up. Vile places of work and I felt sorry for the residents there.

I do know, however, that a relative of mine works in a local care home and they are superb to both residents and staff alike. They cannot praise staff enough, have them highly trained and treat the residents there like royalty. It is a wonderful place that I would recommend to anyone.

sharond101 Thu 15-Mar-18 17:35:33

It needs to be the choice of the person who is living there and have family involvement. Big decision.

MrsFrTedCrilly Thu 15-Mar-18 17:56:10

I visited a huge amount of care settings in my previous professional life and would agree with the pp about how things were done for show in some settings when CQC were inspecting or due to inspect. Always boiled my blood that paper trails were one of the main aspects of judgement. Accurate and timely record keeping is important but by goodness it’s humanity and kindness that people need to focus on more.
My advice to anyone viewing a setting would be to talk to a few residents if possible and get their view. Take the inspection as a starting point of making your decision as it’s only one aspect of the care that’s provided.

PearlsaMinger Thu 15-Mar-18 18:10:01

My Nan, years ago needed to go into a care home, as at the time there was no one able to care for her. In the 8 weeks she was there, she had every single possession she had with her stolen, including all of her clothes, her glasses, her wedding ring and even her teeth. The last time we saw her, she told us how she’d been mistreated, shouted at, had her sweets stolen and sat shivering every night as they refused to close the window abover her bed. She was 86.

Sadly, the following week she fell out of bed and was taken to hospital but died. She was covered in bruises when we saw her in the hospital. Nobody to complain too and sadly we collected her personal belongings which consisted of two new handkerchiefs and her slippers. hmm

For these reasons, when my Mum got older and was poorly she begged me not to put her in a care home. I nursed her myself for 2 years after she was diagnosed as terminally ill. We had ‘Hospice at Home’ care for her, on the second day the lady was coming, my Mum broke down and begged me to stay in the room while she had a bed bath. Said the woman was really rough the previous day and she was scared of her! Then showed me bruises under her upper arms where she had been treated too roughly. I stayed. Sadly Mum passed soon after too. We had no one we could talk to or report anything to. Once she had passed no one was really interested.

So now to me... I’m in my early 50s, single but not in the best of health. I wouldn’t want to burden my daughter (in her 30s now) with looking after me but also secretly fear having to go into a care home because of what I’ve seen in the past. Of course I’ll do my best to stay as independent as I can but who knows what may happen in the future.

I work as an adult tutor so I am aware of the CQC now, (the Ofsted of Care Homes!) but I tho I as a previous poster said, I know how schools work when Ofsted are coming so I can imagine the same kind of things happen when CQC are inspecting. Everything shiny and sparkling, and staff wonderfully pleasant for one day of the year when in reality it should be like that every day.

Scary times really.. I’ll just have to start going backwards in age (if only!) instead of forward grin and hope I manage to stay at home until my time comes

lovemyflipflops Thu 15-Mar-18 18:14:13

When my darling Nana could not remain independent, we wanted her to be looked after in a 'home from home' environment. It was not easy as we found that many had no places, and the ones which had places had a 'requires improvement' on their most recent CQC inspection - however some of these were a couple years old, so I would like to see more regular 'spot' inspections, with questionnaires sent to family and residents which are independently scrutinised.
We had carers coming in for her until a place became available in a n outstanding home. We met with the matron, who had been in post for several years, which I felt reassured by, we also looked at the menu choices and the 'scores on the doors' food rating, and got a feel for the home and visit regularly. I am happy we waited, but if we wanted a place more urgently, I would have scrutinised the CQC reports, and asked my Local Council as they carry out their own monitoring as part of paying for their residents who they place in the home. We are so happy with our choice and my Nana has met so many new friends and has a new lease of life.

Didiusfalco Thu 15-Mar-18 18:48:32

When my Grandma needed a care home we read all the report from the CQC. They were really useful actually as a home that looked modern and well equipped hadn't actually done very well in the inspection.

I think the home that she is in is excellent and they are very proactive about noticing things that are wrong with her, and getting doctors in to see her quickly, spotting when she is not eating well and generally keeping one step ahead when it comes to her welfare.

However I've worked in a care home, one run by Mind, which you would expect to be a leader in this area, and I saw things that I would not have liked to have happen to my family, which I doubt would have been picked up by CQC. For example an elderly resident being stripped completely naked in the morning flannel washed and then dressed - it struck me that, even though this person had dementia it showed no respect for their dignity and would have been cold especially for an elderly person. It made me realise that you can live too long.

Devilishpyjamas Thu 15-Mar-18 21:54:34

I had to choose a home for my son. We had a fantastic place (good CQC) and he had a very happy year there. It was 5 miles from home - and I saw him 5 it 6 times a week. I could still bath him and take him out and hang out with him. His home was then taken over with a large corporate, they served 13 days notice (for someone with incredibly complex needs- they did extend it slightly but not enough for the commissioners to be able to do anything sensible) and to cut a long story short he has ended up sectioned (due to lack of local care package) an 8 hour drive from home and I see him for a few hours twice a month.

I have had many a conversation with the CQC since then. They would be more effective as an organisation if they have powers of investigation (they don’t - they have zero power to investigate - they can only enforce). They were interested in my experiences and we had many interesting conversations. Their hands are somewhat tied because they look at settings. In my son’s case we were concerned about the provider than the setting. I wait to see what will happen at the next inspection.

In the meantime the hospital my son was moved to has moved from requires improvement to good in the last few months. I think that was the right decision & the CQC did speak to me during the assessment process.

For anyone looking for a care home have a look at employee reviews on indeed.com as well as the CQC - that can give you a lot of information.

Large national corporates are also problematic in care imo - decisions are made by people far away who don’t know the people concerned - although it does depend on how much power they allow the manager to make. A good manager can shield residents from the issues of being in a corporate. Large charities can also act very like large corporate firms.

Imo small is great - but many of them are struggling in the current cost cutting environment.

like7 Thu 15-Mar-18 22:00:49

On choosing a care home for our son with learning difficulties we looked at CQC reports but also found visits were most helpful. In fact we did 2 to the one we were most interested in. (several months apart) A few months ago we had a phone call from CQC as there had been a whistleblower accusing a staff member of abuse. CQC wanted to ask us (and other parents/guardians) our views of the home and we answered several questions. They also did an unannounced visit of the home, which ended up with a good report. This was reassuring to us to know that an independent body were investigating and the staff member was suspended.

PinkBuffalo Thu 15-Mar-18 22:38:34

I have found it an immensely stressful experience.
My mum has been severely disabled since I was 11. I am now early 30s & my mum is only in her 50s.
When looking for respite care homes, finding ones that will do everything she requires is impossible. We have no nursing homes where I am, and this is really what she would need. She spent 1 night in a local care home last year, which was fine apart from her toileting needs were not dealt with, so I had clothes covered in poo to deal with when she got home. When I needed an emergency respite placement, social services wanted to send her to a unit that specialised in male mental health problems as they were the only 'home' that had a bed. There is nothing wrong with my mum mentally. So I refused to send her.
I have also found CQC reports can deem a home as "good" but locally we have been told to avoid avoid avoid. The next home will be " requires improvement" but locally people have said their relatives have thrived. So it's very difficult to trust what you are being told by a body that isn't there 24 hrs a day, whereas the relatives have a better idea.
Also as PP has stated, cqc cannot investigate. There's no where to go when you have valid concerns.
My dad is currently dying is hospital. He has been treated so appallingly in there, I threatened to report them to the police. He is only in his 60s & it all happened very quickly in January. We still don't know what's wrong with him. Trying to speak to a Dr is like getting blood out of a stone. Pals are useless. The nursing staff are great though, and frequently have to comfort me when I break down. The fact they take the time to sympathise with me means a lot.
Life is very very difficult. I am now left as sole carer for my mum, which will eventually be shared care with my sister.
Because of my mum & dads savings & they own their house we are having to basically pay £100 a day for 5hrs of care each day whilst I work full time. This currently means me starting work early in the morning, to come home & take over from the carers in the afternoon. My days run from 04:00 - 23:45 and I am utterly exhausted.
Social services are a joke, there is no help out there, and the cqc need to up their game a bit & realise how bad things are& there a few appropriate care homes. I do not want mum in a dementia unit. She us incredibly vulnerable.
I miss my dad, but can't take the time I need to recuperate from the grief I am going through & what is to come when I lose him. He is my life, and I have no one else. I spend all my time crying at the moment, and if it wasn't for socialising on mumsnet I'm not sure where I would be now.
Sorry for the depressing post. I am not depressed, I am tired and exhausted. It's too much to deal with.

PinkBuffalo Thu 15-Mar-18 22:38:35

I have found it an immensely stressful experience.
My mum has been severely disabled since I was 11. I am now early 30s & my mum is only in her 50s.
When looking for respite care homes, finding ones that will do everything she requires is impossible. We have no nursing homes where I am, and this is really what she would need. She spent 1 night in a local care home last year, which was fine apart from her toileting needs were not dealt with, so I had clothes covered in poo to deal with when she got home. When I needed an emergency respite placement, social services wanted to send her to a unit that specialised in male mental health problems as they were the only 'home' that had a bed. There is nothing wrong with my mum mentally. So I refused to send her.
I have also found CQC reports can deem a home as "good" but locally we have been told to avoid avoid avoid. The next home will be " requires improvement" but locally people have said their relatives have thrived. So it's very difficult to trust what you are being told by a body that isn't there 24 hrs a day, whereas the relatives have a better idea.
Also as PP has stated, cqc cannot investigate. There's no where to go when you have valid concerns.
My dad is currently dying is hospital. He has been treated so appallingly in there, I threatened to report them to the police. He is only in his 60s & it all happened very quickly in January. We still don't know what's wrong with him. Trying to speak to a Dr is like getting blood out of a stone. Pals are useless. The nursing staff are great though, and frequently have to comfort me when I break down. The fact they take the time to sympathise with me means a lot.
Life is very very difficult. I am now left as sole carer for my mum, which will eventually be shared care with my sister.
Because of my mum & dads savings & they own their house we are having to basically pay £100 a day for 5hrs of care each day whilst I work full time. This currently means me starting work early in the morning, to come home & take over from the carers in the afternoon. My days run from 04:00 - 23:45 and I am utterly exhausted.
Social services are a joke, there is no help out there, and the cqc need to up their game a bit & realise how bad things are& there a few appropriate care homes. I do not want mum in a dementia unit. She us incredibly vulnerable.
I miss my dad, but can't take the time I need to recuperate from the grief I am going through & what is to come when I lose him. He is my life, and I have no one else. I spend all my time crying at the moment, and if it wasn't for socialising on mumsnet I'm not sure where I would be now.
Sorry for the depressing post. I am not depressed, I am tired and exhausted. It's too much to deal with.

SmurfOrTerf Thu 15-Mar-18 23:56:28

CQC

that's funny,
the way they rate care homes total fucking bollocks

if its clean and tidy *

it doesn't matter if they totally break or bend all the regulations in the book - as its old people - and they'll just die anyway

And if they

ignore

mistreat

scam

steal their money

defraud

CQC wouldn't fucking notice

I'm doing a living will, and I would rather kill myself than go into a care home

SmurfOrTerf Fri 16-Mar-18 00:38:42

AND if CQC are actually interested
I could tell them how to steal controlled drugs
from right under their noses.

So how are the CQC involved ?

Bet this post gets deleted

Devilishpyjamas Fri 16-Mar-18 06:17:49

Smurf have you spoken to the CQC? I raised this sort of point with them. I said something along the lines of ‘you are not collecting the right information. I can sit at home and with a five minute google - in part using the CQC website - & uncover a trail of destruction being caused at various care homes by one person - but you have no way of tracking that because you are not collecting the right information.

Anyway she explained about their datA tracking centre. It all sounds very slow & hit & miss.

But we’re back to them needing powers of investigation. She did heavily suggest taking my complaint to the ombudsman as it hadn’t been dealt with by the provider - because they DO have powers of investigation. The LA suggested the same. I also sent the CQC a copy of all my correspondence with the provider. They can’t intervene in any complaint but they were keen to have the correspondence (again I guess it provides information they can’t uncover themselves as they can’t investigate).

The CQC would be a lot more robust if they had the powers of investigation that the ombudsman has.

Devilishpyjamas Fri 16-Mar-18 06:25:18

Smurf - to be fair if you do report that to the CQC they will want to know. But you just have to provide the evidence yourself as they can’t go in and investigate in a robust way. If they get enough evidence from outside sources they can issue enforcement notices or close a home. They have strong powers of enforcement, just not investigation. They will use information provided to pay attention to eg MARS during an inspection but yes if paperwork is in order it will hide a lot.

But safeguarding is a good place to start with some of those things. Then ring the CQC as well to ensure the safeguardings have been reported to them.

You can ring the concerns department, write to them or use their online form - if you use the online form they usually ring you back as well.

I did find them very willing to listen to and discuss concerns.

Idliketoteachtheworldtosing1 Fri 16-Mar-18 07:14:52

I am 37 and have had carers at home for two years, initially my daughter and partner did all the caring and everything associated with it but I was issued with an ultimatum, either accept carers or my daughter wouldn't go to uni.
This was a very hard decision as you can imagine as I am still young but I agreed.
The lady from social Services was lovely as was the lady from the care company.
On the whole most of the carers are lovely but some really rush me, clip calls and forget my medication.
As time goes on and my Illness progresses I have told my family that unless I am totally gaga I want to stay in my own home.
It's been hard to accept that I cannot cook or do my own personal care anymore but most of the girls that come here are amazing, the only thing that makes me very anxious is when they send different people most nights, I have a regular carer that makes the tea but for my bed call I never know who is coming, if I find this stressful imagine what it is like for someone with dementia.
The care company do spot checks but they are very few and far between and if you make a complaint it generally falls on deaf ears. I am lucky that I still have my partner here to oversee the carers and deal with any problems.
I don't know if the CQC monitor care companies but if not I feel they should and they should speak to service users.

ForTheLoveOfSleep Fri 16-Mar-18 07:55:26

My mother has started working in a care home currently under investigation by the CQC. They have replaced all bedding/towels etc as per instruction and repainted to make it look pretty. However, the managing company has still invested £0 in the actual care of it's residents.

People paying upwards of £1500 per week for dementia care are still only given a £2.00 per day food allowance when cooking meals. Only the cheapest quality food is purchased (ie powdered soup) and the biscuits/cakes are actually locked away so staff cannot access them for residents unless it is "tea tme".

They are severely understaffed so much so that sometimes the ratio of carers to residents on a floor is 2 carers to 25 residents with dementia/alzheimer's. Young women (18-22) with no training relevent trainingare expected to work alone with violent residents and the home often runs out of pain medication for terminal patients.
My mother regularly comes home with bite marks which they are told not to report or they will get thier hours docked and infection control is non existant. The last time a sickness bug swept through the home protocols were put in place too late by management, despite the insistance of staff, and ended up in a full lockdown of days for the residents and the staff on shift at the time.

All the CQC seem to care about in this instance is the appearance of doing what they should. Care workers are doing one of the hardest jobs in the country and are completely disreguarded by the government and by rich owners of private care homes. People are suffering and it seems as though it is just being swept under the rug.

LAYLA37 Fri 16-Mar-18 09:32:13

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Needmoresleep Fri 16-Mar-18 09:56:00

I am concerned that the focus remains firmly on the "customer" without looking at the constraints that come with running a care sector on a low budget.

I employ my mother's carer directly. She has 30 or more years expereince as a carer and all the right training and paperwork. Initially she worked nights for an agency and then dropped in on my mum on her way home. She is fantastic, dedicated and caring, taking responsibility for all the day to day stuff, and steppng in in an emergency. (I live 150 miles away.)

Being an agency carer is shit. Pure and simply. All tick box, no proper management. Good carers thrive on positive feedback. It's in the name. They care.

One midday on a 15 minute SS funded visit she finds an elderly person lying on the floor. The morning call had not happened and the person had been lying there all night and was distressed and in pain. She calls an ambulance and waits. She is reprimanded. The Agency take no responsibility for having missed the earlier call but instead say she should only have stayed for the 15 minutes. Caring, humanity. The system and budgets don't allow for it.

Her recommendation is that you visit a care home at 3.00am. The smiley staff on during the day may well have been replaced by unmotivated agency staff, to whom the home management will feel no duty of care. So an able colleague was summarily dismissed. Her crime. To have nodded off midway through a night shift on a silent wing in an overheated home. Apparently near impossible not to once in a while. The home, with no management responsibility complains to the agency, who let her go. No account is taken on her track record. Similarly the home switches its Agency contract. Current zero-hours Agency staff are let go at short notice. She looks for a new job, but the new Agency wants to do things by the book and insists that they carry out a new DBS, and she can't start till its comes through. Two months later she gives up, and finds someone who is prepared to let her start with a copy of her old one. And so on.

Until this is a sector that people want to work in, and where experience and professionalism are valued, CQC will simply be papering over the cracks.

Whilst ranting, I would add that direct employment is far, far to hard and probably beyond many potential employers. I am a sort ot mini-personnel department - Job description, work contract, NEST pension, NI and HMRC log in, payslips and P60s, time sheets, employer liability insurance etc. Government systems seem to assume I am a mini IBM. The NI webvsite is so counter intuitive that it takes me about an hour to get to the right place, whilst I have never managed to log into NEST and the help screen is only available post-login. And don't get me started on the European Working Time Directive. It all sounds lovely in theory, but whoever drafted it clearly does not understand that part time care workers dont want four weeks paid holiday. They may want the right to take this holiday, but actually will want at least some of it paid in lieu, ideally before Christmas. Making it easier to employ carers at home by providing a one stop support might enable many to avoid the vagarities of Agencies and Care Homes.

.

chandlersfraud Fri 16-Mar-18 14:58:14

In an ideal world people would have full choice of which care home they go to. But let's face it - often care is needed at short notice eg. Because of reaching crisis point at home or being ready for hospital discharge (and massive pressure not to 'block beds'). The reality of 'choice' is that it depends where there's a space at the time, and if someone is social services funded then the 'choice' is really whichever is the cheapest or that the council has a block contract with.
And beware if you are a private funder and choose a lovely but expensive home - when you deplete your savings social services could move you to a cheaper one.

MoreProsecco Fri 16-Mar-18 16:59:27

My dad has a diagnosis of Alzheimer's & to be honest, I don't know where to start in terms of care. Knowing that there are reports/inspections of services is a good starting point & will hopefully steer me in the right direction.

For my dad, we will be looking at home-based services initially. The biggest difficulty I am finding is getting my mum (his main carer) to acknowledge that she needs help & support.

Our local healthcare services only do signposting so it would be great to hear of service users reviews - does such an option exist anywhere?

rach01pink Fri 16-Mar-18 17:09:32

I was raised by my nan. She was a nurse for the elderly her whole life.. She told me so many times through the years that she didn't want to go into a home.. I remember when I was 14 she said 'pleas do not let them put me in a home id rather die,... Anyway fast forward 9 years when I was on a sabbatical in China she had a heart attack.. Long and short of it 'they" (her sons) put her in a home... Her room is like a match box, the staff are moody and unhelpful, food hygiene rating is 3, I have been to visit so many times and never have I seen an activity being played.. They just sit in a circle round the tv. After a year or so my nans mobility started to go then her memory.. The position now is that she is deaf, blind, unable to weight bear and she hasn't known who I am for about 9 years. I am certain the care home sped up her deterioration ten fold. Any money she had from the sale of her house soon got swallowed up and social services pay for her residence now. You'd think with what they charge they might employ some staff or get a cook in who can cook.. Maybe splash out on an activities person... I would not want to read any cqc report about this place as I'm sure it would be awful and even more disturbing.

shuggas Fri 16-Mar-18 18:00:09

Don't always rely on the cqc report alone, I think they are very helpful and I like the way they have changed the way they inspect as it does seem more thorough, but your own eyes will always give you a great insight too, look at the people there, do they look well, do they look cared for nourished and are they engaged and doing activities or sat staring into space, can you see enough staff around when you go, how does it smell? How do the staff interact, you can pick up a good feel for yourself too smile

TalkinPeace Fri 16-Mar-18 18:44:03

When will the CQC stop allowing homes to change ownership / name and this hide pat bad reports
when the staff and residents remain the same ?

CMOTDibbler Fri 16-Mar-18 21:20:12

My parents are hanging on at home by a thread, thanks to their wonderful independent carer and a cast of supporting characters. At various times they've had agency carers after a crisis, and so far mum has had one respite stay in a care home.
I find it all incredibly stressful, and the spectre of having to choose a care home at short notice is always hanging there, let alone making that sort of decision from a distance and while I have a FT job and an 11 year old to deal with

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