• Who We Are

    wHO wE are

    The Relatives & Residents Association exists for older people needing, or living in, residential care and the families and friends left behind at home.

  • What We Do

    WHAT WE DO

    We are here to support and inform residents, families and friends to find out all they need to know about residential care and to help them if things go wrong. Additionally, we speak out on behalf of a sector who cannot always speak out for themselves.

  • Helpline

    our helpline

    We offer information, comfort and support via a daily helpline. We take the time to listen and give whatever support is needed.

  • Influencing Policy & Influence

    influencing policy & practice

    We take note of your concerns and relay them to the people who can make changes. We send out potent messages and push for improvements for the benefit of vulnerable older people in care.

20 August 2015

The following is R&RA's response to a recent post on the Caring Times blog on home closures: http://www.careinfo.org/urgent-closures-minimising-the-collateral-damage/

NOT ‘COLLATERAL DAMAGE’ REAL LIVES AND REAL TRAGEDIES

Well before the Southern Cross collapse, we were writing to Ministers and the Health Select Committee and CQC about the devastating impact of deteriorating homes and home closures on residents and families.  Yet despite all that has been written, recommended and legislated, it is clear that the CQC is no more capable of vetting the financial viability of providers than its predecessor bodies.

We proposed then - and see no reason to change our minds - that there needed to be a change in the status of care homes.  It makes no sense that a care home has the same status in law as a corner shop.  Homes close regularly: the owners can close it, develop the site or go out of business at any time, with no obligation to residents other than to give them a month's notice.  And, as recent closures have once again shown, not just the one quoted in the blog, a month would be a luxury.  This is wholly unacceptable and not just another business failure when the "commodity" is the care of fragile human beings.  With urgent closures and bankruptcies or other unforeseen circumstances, like the death of the owner or change of use, the residents become at great risk.

We said in our evidence to the Health Select Committee in 2011: "Emergency legislation needs to make it possible for local authorities to take homes over to ensure stability and security for residents, pending further decisions.  This can mean continuity for them and the staff.”

Registration is a privilege which allows care homes to provide a service to vulnerable members of the public.  It is not only a recognition of their fitness but a position of special responsibility as the Regulations make clear.

So, yes, there does need to be an urgent change in the status of the care home in the best interests of residents, regardless of the status of the home.

 

P.S.  Collateral damage has been described as “a dangerous euphemism, abstract, agentless and affectless, so that even if people succeed in associating it with a real act or event they will be insulated from any feeling of repulsion and moral outrage". 'Verbal Hygiene' Cameron, 1995

10 August 2015

OBSERVER REPORT

Yesterday's Observer asked: "With more than £4bn slashed from funding, care workers are being forced to cut corners to deal with a growing ageing population.  So should we be surprised that allegations of abuse and neglect have now hit record levels?”

In the article headed: “Cash-starved, demoralised and sometimes cruel: how England’s social care system fails the most vulnerable", Judy Downey, Chair of the R&RA is quoted:  “It is just extraordinary that we have evolved a system where the least skilled and least well paid are doing the most stressful jobs with people with high needs and vulnerability.  (These are) people who need social interaction as well as their bottoms wiped and food shoved in.”

Read the full report here

Our Campaigns and Projects

  • CQC Not Working CampaignIS CQC WORKING?

    Time running out for older people at risk in care

    The Relatives & Residents Association is calling on the government to make urgent changes to the Care Quality Commission – the body responsible for regulating care homes for older people. We want to see a complete change in he way this organisation works and protects older people in care homes.

  • CARE HOME ACCOUNTABILITYCARE HOME ACCOUNTABILITY

    call FOR Government to make providers accountable

    We want to see new regulations which will ensure that organisations pay sufficient attention to the safety and welfare of their residents. We also want to see registrations which will ensure that owners and managers can no longer absolve themselves when failures occur.

  • Tell Us About Your Care Home

    TELL US ABOUT YOUR CARE HOME

    We are working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to help relatives' voices to be heard. We are looking at how calls to our helpline can inform CQC and help them protect residents. During the pilot, anyone contacting us who is worried about quality of care will have their information passed immediately to CQC. In turn, CQC will update us with any action they take.