The following are words from Pamela Wells’ report, Campaigning for Quality Care in Care Homes, published today via Counsel and Care, as she calls on the new commission on long-term care to consider how to improve radically the quality of care as well as how the care system will be funded in the future:
“These people need us to fight for their rights. They are the same people some of whom fought for our right to live free from fear and tyranny during the second world war.
These are the same people who went without to bring up a family paying their own way and seldom asking for any help. To these vulnerable and defenceless people all hope must seem gone. ‘No Knight in Shining Armour’ to rescue them from ‘God’s Waiting Room’. That is how many residents referred to the care home.
So, why isn’t there any public outrage?
Is it that people find it hard to believe that this could be happening or is it that they feel nothing can be done? Perhaps it is just too uncomfortable to face because it reminds them of their own mortality. Or is it that the abuse is so well hidden that it is –
Out of Sight and Out of Mind – Behind Closed Doors
Well it is not out of my sight and I will not close the door of my mind to their plight.”
‘Behind closed doors’ is a phrase I have used repeatedly in recent years, because of my own struggles to achieve an understanding of the lack of care provided in a certain care home that was most definitely not fit for purpose, when my own relative was living there. CQC, please open the doors so that everyone, but especially those in need of care and those who care about them, can understand and can contribute to the improvement of care. As long as it is all kept ‘behind closed doors’, there will be no confidence whatsoever in any of the empty promises that come our way.
What happened to my own relative in a so-called care home will never leave my sight either. Eyes open, or eyes closed – those images will always remain, with me.