Mr B rang our Helpline, concerned about his father who had advanced Parkinson’s. Despite a clear care plan and frequent promptings by Mr B, his father was not always getting his medication or appropriate diet. Mr B felt that staff lacked understanding of his father’s specific needs. Additionally, he was worried that his father was becoming increasingly depressed and had poor quality of life. Mr B felt sure his father would be better off in a new environment equipped to give him the care he needed.
R&RA’s Helpline worker helped Mr B to raise his concerns with the care home and the local authority’s safeguarding team. The Helpline worker also helped Mr B apply for Continuing Healthcare Funding.
Both the local authority and the NHS agreed that Mr B’s father needed to move to a more appropriate setting. Additionally, his father was awarded Continuing Healthcare Funding, increasing the funds available for his care.
Seeing his father settled in his new home, with trained and able staff finally allowed Mr B to relax. He no longer felt the need to constantly check his father’s care and could simply enjoy visiting him.
Mrs F telephoned the Helpline to say she had received a letter from her local authority requesting a weekly contribution of £50 towards her husband’s care home fees. Her husband had only just recently moved into the care home, and Mrs F was distressed and confused since she hadn’t previously been told that she would be expected to pay anything.
After clarifying events leading up to her husband’s admission to a care home, the R&RA Helpline worker was able to reassure her that she should not be paying this ‘top-up’ and were able to provide her with the relevant guidance. The Helpline worker also identified that Mrs F was entitled to receive half of her husband’s personal pension.
Using this information, Mrs F not only successfully reminded the local authority of its duty towards her husband’s care costs, ensuring they raised their rate to meet this additional cost, but also reduced her husband’s contribution to ensured that she received a share of her husband’s pension to meet her own living costs. “Thank you, your advice was pure gold; I don’t know what I would have done without you”
Tony contacted our Helpline after he became concerned over the cuts in staff at night in his mother’s care home and the effect it was having on her care. He had tried to speak both to the care home manager and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the regulator, about his concerns but felt no one was listening.
Having noted the evidence about staffing ratios and the lack of care given at night from him, we approached both the safeguarding team at the local council and the CQC, on his behalf, to raise these serious concerns.
As a result of our referral, CQC carried out an inspection of the home, concluding that staffing levels were too low and leading to poor care of resident. The home then increased its staff at night.
Tony wrote to us to say: “Thanks as always for all your time on the matter with my mother – you have been an absolute godsend.”
Margaret rang our Helpline frustrated and concerned over her sister’s care home. This included failing to give her medication, neglecting her safety as well as her personal care, in her sister’s case, showering and helping her to get dressed. She had raised her concerns both to the home and her sister’s social worker but, despite promises, nothing had changed.
R&RA’s Helpline Worker discussed her sister’s legal rights and options, including suggesting an urgent review of her sister’s care by her social worker as well as setting up regular review meetings with the care home manager.
Margaret rang back to say that the social worker had agreed that the care was unsafe and had now set up regular reviews to ensure improvements in her care.
“Thank you for your clear advice, I feel so much more confident standing up for my sister now”