hospitals and carehomes

There may be times in your life when you need care and support and this can be in a hospital, a care home, or in your own home, from a carer, nurse, Dr etc.

All staff have a duty of care. This means that they have a professional duty to keep you safe from abuse, neglect and poor practices. All staff should be trained by their employers to provide good care, and many do. Unfortunately there are some staff, who, for different reasons, may not provide good care, and you should not accept poor care.

It is important that staff are told when they are doing their job well and also when they are not doing their job well. You have a right to privacy, respect, dignity and to be kept safe.

"There are times when I am not taken to the toilet or my pad isn't changed. It's not the staffs fault, they are short staffed."

"When I am being hoisted there should be two staff but sometimes there is only one staff."

It is not the staffs fault but why should this person lose their dignity and respect because of staff shortages? The answer is that they shouldn't.

If you or a relative or friend has concerns about this, there are various ways you can bring this to someone's attention. All too often I hear people say, 'I don't want to get the staff into trouble,' and I don't either. But if you do not raise concerns it will carry on. Also, the staff will be grateful that you've brought it to the managers/ward sister's attention, so it can be dealt with.

It is important to start with telling them what they are doing right, then tell them your concerns and finish with something they are doing right.

What to do if you have any concerns:

If you are worried about the care you or your loved one is getting in hospital:

Mention it to the staff nurse or ward sister or if you feel comfortable
Or ask for a meeting to discuss the care. This meeting should be with the ward sister/charge nurse of the ward in the first instance
Follow the hospital's complaint procedure
Or ring or visit the Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) office, which will be situated in the hospital
Or contact Action on Elder Abuse UK Helpline:080 8808 8141 (The number will not appear on your telephone bill). www.elderabuse.org.uk
Or contact your local Age UK shop/office
Or contact your local Healthwatch office
Or report your concerns to the Care Quality Commission. Tel: 03000 616161

If you are worried about the care you or your loved one is getting in the care home or care at home:

Mention it to the carer or manager if you feel comfortable
Or ask for a meeting to discuss the care. This meeting should be with the deputy or Manager in the first instance
Follow the care homes/care agency's complaint procedure if necessary
Or contact Action on Elder Abuse UK Helpline: 080 8808 8141 (The number will not appear on your telephone bill). www.elderabuse.org.uk
Or contact your local Age UK shop/office
Or contact your local Healthwatch office
Or report your concerns to the Care Quality Commission. Tel: 03000 616161
You can also leave comments on your experience of a care home, care at home, hospital, in patient or out patient, GP, Pharmacy, Dentist etc. by going onto this link.

Suzan Collins is an internationally selling author and has written several books. Her latest book, released in November, is a true account on how the health and social system failed her late mother, called, 'Beyond My Control: Why the Health and Social Care System Need Not Have Failed My Mother'.

Beyond My Control empowers people to speak out if they are unhappy with the care they or someone they know is receiving, either in a care/nursing home, hospital or receiving care at home. It raises awareness of the dangers faced by all people receiving care if the care is inadequate.

The book is available from all shops and on line. If you would like to purchase a signed copy of Beyond My Control Suzan will be happy to do and can be contacted via her website www.spcconsultancy.com

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