These words from Outside Left are causing me to remember that I have knuckles:
I didn’t have a Baby P, but I had the equivalent of Baby P. She had a longer life than Baby P, but an equally horrible death. Baby P was only a baby; she was an 83-year old. Baby P was neglected within his own family and by those who were charged with looking after his life; my 83-year old was never neglected within her own family, but was seriously neglected by those who were charged with looking after her life.
It’s almost 3 years on now since she was found to have suffered “sub-standard care” also known as neglect in a care home, and which resulted in her death. A care home that was not fit for purpose. But who cares? Who cared about her? I did, and I do.
There was indeed widespread failure involving many people in different services, in my own personal experience of ‘care’ aka ‘neglect’. I’ll try to list a few of them:
- The Local Authority;
- the Mental Health Care of Older People Team;
- the Social Worker working for the first time ever on behalf of older people with dementia – a locum social worker who knew nothing of the locality or of dementia. If only she had told us that then, we might have worked out a way to help her too, but we didn’t know it then;
- the next Social Worker seconded to that same MHCOP team from the Local Authority, but who seemed to have been ‘shackled’ sufficiently to render her in total awe of her job-providers and her experience-gaining-secondment from Australia (!);
- the extra-care sheltered housing, contracted by the Local Authority and recommended as ‘suitably suitable’ by the first Social Worker;
- the domiciliary care agency owning and providing domiciliary care to that same extra-care sheltered housing complex, which was run in the best interests of the agency staff working there and where the main focus was on independent dying, not independent living;
- the Assessment Ward of the Mental Health Unit via the NHS/PCT/Trust/Partnership …. changed its name so many times;
- the Local Authority’s Adult Social Services/Housing department with particular responsibility for housing those in need of care;
- the Local Authority’s commissioning department who are supposed to commission and contract safe residential care services;
- the CQC / CSCI departments charged with regulating, inspecting, reporting on and ensuring the safe regulation of residential care homes with nursing and ensuring that they are/were all above board and safely guaranteed competent to receive vulnerable elderly people with dementia;
- the care home, who had no systems of protection in place;
- the care home provider with a 25-year contract to provide safe services to vulnerable elderly people with dementia;
- the Adult Protection Coordinator who could and should have helped us through the months that followed …. …. ….
- All of the above agencies who had not realised that there were no systems of protection in place.
I can’t begin to tell you all how it feels to list the above, and I have to make a huge effort so as to avoid a further few ‘agencies’ involved.
I’m feeling almost weak at the knees remembering and trying to create a coherently readable list of all the agencies involved.
But they all failed. From start to finish. Each and every one of them failed. Failed to protect and preserve life.