Relatives & Residents Association

We support, inform and speak on behalf of older people in care

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Case Studies

Access to care home records

Miss P called the helpline as she was trying to gain access to her deceased mothers care notes from her former care home, which was refusing to provide them citing data protection rules. Miss P said she had done some preliminary research herself and that she believed that the rules cited by the care home only applied to living people.

Our helpline worker confirmed Miss P’s understanding, and that the care home was wrong to rely on the current General Data Protection Rules, in order to block access to her mother’s care note and advised her that as the executor of her mother’s will, to request access to the records under the 1990 Access to Health Records Act instead.

Miss P rang back the very next day to tell us that she had done as advised and that the care home had ”reconsidered” and that they were sending her the notes she had requested.

‘’Thank you so much, you’ve been very helpful’’

Achieving access to a wheelchair using human rights

Celia had suffered a stroke, which resulted in mobility problems and she developed vascular dementia as time passed.

While living independently, Celia’s care needs increased and she and her family made the decision for her to move into a local nursing home. Her granddaughter, Stella, asked the home to approach the wheelchair service at the local authority with a request for a new specialised chair for Celia. As her body had changed over time, the wheelchair Celia was using was now unsuitable, causing her discomfort after even minimal amounts of time. The wheelchair service refused to supply one because Celia could not self-propel and so it was against their policy. The care home staff had been willing to assist Celia with the wheelchair so that she wouldn’t need to self-propel.

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Acting as Carer

Mr G had been living with his parents for many years, providing care for both before his father died.  Struggling to care for his mother, he had asked the local authority to reassess her needs.  When the local authority agreed that his mother needed to move into a care home, Mr G was initially relieved. However, he was now worried about the house they shared and contacted our Helpline for advice.

Mr G was worried that he would need to sell the house to pay for his mother’s care. He didn’t think he could afford to stay in local area and would be forced to move away from his mother.

Our Helpline worker reassured Mr G that he could remain in his home, after establishing his mother’s financial position. His mother’s capital meant she would be seen as a ‘self-funder’ until after his 60 birthday.  Ensuring the house would be ignored from her financial assessment.

“It’s good that you guys are there, as you can tell, I’m finding this hard to deal with and you really help”.

 

 

Challenging Care Home Top-ups

Warren rang our Helpline after he was told by his wife’s social worker that he needed to pay over £1000 per month in top-up fees or she would have to move to a cheaper home. She had moved into the care home 10 years ago, having moved from a number of care homes which were unable to deal with her violent outbursts.

After talking through his wife’s rights and their options, R&RA’s Helpline Worker emailed Warren details of the relevant legislation, suggesting he challenge any move as presenting an unreasonable risk to her health and welfare.

Warren contacted the Helpline, elated and relieved, to say that “the advice had been spot on” and the local council had agreed to meet the full cost of her care placement and not move her.

“Excellent and expert advice – thank you”

Challenging visiting bans

When Julie’s care home locked down again in the summer of 2022 due to a COVID-19 outbreak, all visits were banned. Julie and the other residents were confined to their rooms. Julie lives with dementia, is very sociable and physically active so the confinement was very difficult. Her daughter, Lorraine, was very concerned about the restrictions.

After reading R&RA’s guide ‘Visiting and the Law’, Lorraine asked the care home to see a copy of her mum’s risk assessment. The home hadn’t done an assessment for Julie so arranged for this happen. Lorraine quoted sections of R&RA’s guide about Julie’s rights and suggested changes to the risk assessment to reflect the risk to life and other harm caused by isolation. The home changed their policy and Julie was allowed visits from her daughter again.

“Thank you so much R&RA for everything you do.”

Empowering Relatives

Mrs A rang the Helpline in great distress. Her father had been in a care home for some time and was happy there. But the local authority had moved her mother into a different care home as an emergency after she became ill. Mrs A was struggling to move her mother to her father’s care home, so that they could be together. She felt the local authority was being unhelpful and oblivious to the impact on her parents.

R&RA’s Helpline worker talked Mrs A through various options, including her parents’ legal rights and the local authority’s discretionary powers. Empowered by her new knowledge, Mrs A again challenged the local authority’s decision and re-assert the needs of her parents.

Mrs A rang back to thank us after the local authority agreed to move her mother into the same care home as her father.

“I cannot thank you enough, without your help I don’t know how I would have coped”

 

A vital cause

If you approve of what we do or have been helped by the R&RA please consider making a donation or becoming an R&RA member to help us continue this vital work. Thank you!

We have no endowments or guaranteed funding so rely on the loyalty of our members and the support of our generous donors to continue our work.

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020 7359 8136

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Our Helpline advisers are real experts in the care field and happy to cope with referrals from other advice or befriending lines when more in-depth knowledge is needed.

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