Dementia patient dies just weeks after ‘begging for food’ video

A DEMENTIA patient has died just weeks after she appeared in video footage begging for food at a scandal-hit care home.

Edna Slann’s family say her health rapidly faded when she was placed at Grantley Court nursing home in surrey.

Despite a stay of just two months, she suffered an unexplained head wound, lost more than half a stone in weight and was left with a severe infection.

The 89-year-old’s death is now the fourth linked to a care home company being investigated by police. Detectives are looking at allegations that patients suffered injuries at Grantley Court and its sister centre Merok Park in Banstead – which were forced to close after inspectors uncovered appalling conditions and shocking neglect. Surrey Police have so far made no arrests, but in the latest development officers searched a home in Cheam, Surrey. A spokesman said a warrant was used to enable officers to ‘gather information to ascertain the need for a criminal investigation’.

Patients were moved to other homes in December following a report by the Care Quality Commission into the two centres run by millionaire owners Soondressen Cooppen and his wife Maleenee, from Cheam.

Alfred Dodd, 85, died fron pneumonia less than 48 hours after he was evacuated from Merok Park. The family of Jessie Collins, 91, who died this month, also believe she would still be alive had she not stayed there.

Former Grantley Court resident Winnie Lake, 91, died from hypertension two weeks after she was moved out and her family blame the trauma of the sudden change.

Mrs Slann featured in a heart breaking video released by her family last month, in which she pleads to be fed. Filmed in September, she says to her granddaughter: “I’m hungry. Have you got anything to eat here now? I’m bloody starving. They keep you bleeding starving in here.”

The grandmother of one died at a home in Epsom on February 16 and the main cause of death was a stroke, with her foot infection and high blood pressure also believed to have had an effect.

Her daughter Linda Crackett, 54, said she could have lived longer had she not been placed at Grantley Court.

She said: “She  had been left in such a weakened state by the malnutrition and the infection. She tried to rally round but she got so weak.”

Mrs Crackett who believes Sutton Council should have inspected the home itself before sending anyone there, has now started a petition calling for an independent judge-led inquiry into Britain’s care system. She added: “What is effectively happening is they are putting a price on these people’s lives.

“We have had four deaths now from this, how many more people have to die before somebody takes notice that something is desperately wrong in this care home system?”

Wlikinson. B 2015 Daily Mail 03/03/2015 p. 33

“It’s awful having to write about these inhumanities, but they must be broadcast far and wide whenever they arise. The sad part is that the ‘horse has bolted’ instead of it being ‘reined in’ – but who will sit up and take notice as Mrs Crackett asks. Some of these incidents are manslaughter offences and should be legislated as such.”

Care staff lose £130m – bosses refuse to pay for travelling time

Jason Beattie writing in the Daily Mirror regarding a study which reveals “wage theft” is costing care workers a total of £130million a year.

Penny-pinching practices by tight-fisted bosses mean 160,000 employees lose an average of £815 a year, according to the Resolution Foundation think-tank.

Employers manage to claw back the cash by failing to pay staff for the time they spend travelling between visits, on-call time, training sessions and uniforms.

Carer with clientbut the scale of this “wage theft” could be much higher as the study published to day, does not include many other illegal deductions, such as charging staff for pay slips.

Another recent study found some 60 per cent of England’s 685,000 home care workers are on zero-hours contracts.

The unfavourable conditions mean that staff turnover in the industry is 21 per cent – more than twice the national average.

The United Kingdom Home Care Association says care workers should be paid at least £15.74 an hour to cover the cost of transport and travel time. But last year the average wage for most carers in England was £12.26 an hour.

Some carers have had to pay for their uniforms and their own Disclosure and Barring Service, a criminal records check required by employers.

The Unison union reports that some workers have been charged £7 on advances of £20 for petrol costs – which would be equivalent to an APR of 17,000 per cent.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It is criminal that care workers are not paid for the time they spend travelling and on call between appointments.

“Care firms who engage in this penny-pinching practice must be publicly named and shamed.”

“This being the case, it’s another issue where all those complying to good practice have their reputation blemished by bad”

 

Care Home Patients at Risk Through Lack of Water

Staff  ‘don’t want them going to the toilet at night’

The Daily Mail reports today regarding elderly care home residents’ lives being put at risk because many staff do not give them enough to drink, experts warned yesterday.

care-home-water

They were found to be at least five times more likely to be dehydrated on admission to hospital than those living in their own homes.

Residents who had not been given enough fluids by care home staff were also up to ten times more likely to die in hospital than patients who arrived properly hydrated, they said.

Some carers are suspected of not giving their patients enough fluids because it makes them more likely go to the toilet or suffer incontinence during the night.

In a report, the researchers said the findings were ‘disturbing’ and ‘distressing’ and that conditions in some care homes may be as bad as those found by the Francis Inquiry into the Mid Staffs hospital scandal, which found patients had been drinking water from vases.

Their warning comes at a time of growing concern about standards in some homes and the ability of regulators and social workers to ensure they are well run.

These concerns were underlined last year when two unsatisfactory Surrey homes were closed by industry regulators the Care Quality Commission, one so quickly that residents waited to be moved for hours in their pyjamas on one of the coldest nights of the year.

The study calls for strict measures in hospitals to check how care homes treat residents.

If one elderly person at a care home is found to have high sodium levels that indicate dehydration, the home’s GP should be alerted, it said. If there is a second case, the Quality Care Commission should be alerted.

The study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, was based on records of more than 20,000 patients aged over 65 who went into North London hospitals over three years.

It found that the official figure of just 200 elderly people admitted to hospital each year from care homes with dehydration was ‘implausibly low’. The main author, Dr Anthony Wolff, of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘I have anecdotally heard  that care home workers have been advised not to give too much water to reduce incontinence and people getting up at night.

‘It may be these workers are thinking they are doing the right thing. Residents don’t want to get up at night, they are at greater of falling and there is a greater risk of being incontinent.’

Along with David Stuckler, of Oxford University, and Martin McKee, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Dr Wolff found that one in 100 older patients admitted to hospital from their own homes showed high sodium levels. But among patients admitted from care homes, 12 per cent had high sodium levels.

Once the higher ages of care home residents and the possibility that they are suffering from dementia was taken into account, care home residents were still more than five times more likely to be dehydrated when admitted to hospital.

The study explained: ‘Our findings are consistent with concerns about the quality of care in care homes.

‘Care home staff do not offer water in sufficient amounts, either as an act of omission or, more perversely, as an active decision in an attempt to reduce incontinence and frequent requests for assistance.’

American research, it said, found there was a worse risk of dehydration when homes were inadequately staffed and workers did not speak English.

It said the link between dehydration and death in hospital was a matter of further concern.

Norman Lamb, the Minister for Care and Support, said: ‘Failings of care that lead to people being dehydrated are completely unacceptable and if it is being done deliberately then this is abhorrent.

‘The law is very clear – care homes must make sure residents get enough to eat and drink  and we are making it easier to prosecute homes that fail to do so.’

Caroline Abrahams, of AgeUK, said: ‘Deaths linked to dehydration are completely avoidable and unacceptable.

‘Older people may need assistance with drinking, and we need to ensure that care home staff are trained to help them drink enough and avoid health risks associated with dehydration, like confusion, low blood pressure and falls, which can lead to hospitalisation.’

Dr Ros Altmann, the Government’s business champion for older workers, said: ‘This is a problem that can be fatal – many elderly people die of dehydration, which simply should not happen in this day and age.

“This really is OUTRAGEOUS – but you can bet your bottom dollar this and other forms of neglect and cruelty have been going on for years”

Care Home Failure – Fear Over Bosses

Dementia sufferers are being put at risk of poor care because hundreds of residential homes are operating without a manager, figures released have shown.

Of 7,000 specialist care homes across England, 759 do not have a registered boss who is legally responsible for it’s running and failings, watchdog the Care Quality Commission admits.

Former Lib Dem Care Minister Paul Burstow blasted: “This situation is simply not acceptable. Things clearly need to change, fast.” The Alzheimer’s Society branded the situation “worrying and unacceptable”.  About 800,000 people have dementia in the UK, but is this set to rise to a million by 2024.

Experts have blamed the issue on slow or poor recruitment and providers failing to appoint in a bid to save cash – despite potential fines up  to £4,000.

The CQC said: “When these positions remain unfilled, people are at greater risk of poor care.

Disgraceful and heart-sinking issues regarding the health and welfare of our nation just keep coming and coming. Is it going to stop – “any ideas?”

Secret Checks on Care Homes

It has been revealed on 10th December that inspectors are to swoop to carry out secret checks that 15 care homes and hospitals are treating dementia patients properly.

The Care Quality Commission unveiled the strategy as G8 leaders prepared to meet in London to discuss for the first time how to deal with a “dementia epidemic”.

More than 35 million people are suffering with dementia worldwide today. That number is set to triple by 2050. In England alone the number is set to double over  three decades from today’s 670,000.

The inspections will look at how services help patients both mentally an physically, at how movement between homes and hospitals can be reduced and how to minimise admissions and lengthy stats.

Judgements will be published locally, with a national report next May.

Davina Ludlow, of carehomes.co.uk said “While the vast majority of care homes provide the highest quality care, we welcome the review.

This all sounds excellent but as ever there will forever be rotten apples in the basket, as there always has been and forever will mostly go unnoticed. Even in today’s day and age loving relatives of sufferers will have that nagging feeling about the quality of care being given during their relatives decline. The pressure and lack of job satisfaction for staff and diminishing funding and cut backs will give this continuation.