• Care Homes and getting it right 06 October 2016 | View comments

  • 06th October 2016 | By David Jolley

    This was the week when Doran James was born to Emily Ann Jolley and her husband Joe. This was Tuesday, a week ahead of schedule and at pace which meant a home delivery. All are well and we rejoice.

    Monday had found Care Homes on the front page of the Guardian, Kate Lyons and Helena Bengtsson declaring ‘Hospitals and care homes fail food safety inspections’. The article confirms that actually 98% of Homes and Hospitals complied with the Food Standards Agency criteria. Just as well I read on beyond the headlines, I might have thought Care Homes were bad places!

    Later in the week Denis Campbell raged, ‘Care Home residents deprived of liberty in record numbers’.

    Of course it is absurd and worse, that large numbers of people with dementia in Care Homes are being made subject to Derivation of Liberty Standards (DoLS) at great expense, often to their distress and inconvenience especially when they die and are subject to a coroner’s inquest. But this is no fault of Care Homes and the bureaucratic process does not lead to their being ‘put in straps, locked in or given behaviour controlling drugs’ as Denis Campbell seems to believe. On the contrary, the legal process, if it does anything, might reduce the likelihood of such malpractices.

    The present situation, which is draining Local Authorities of monies they might otherwise use to provide better care, is the logical but unreasonable consequence of rulings from the Cheshire West.

    Case: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/485122/DH_Consolidated_Guidance.pdf

    The error of the Law’s ways is widely understood. No other country in the world has shackled itself with such legislation and the Law Commission is working to find a solution to the problem we, and especially Care Homes and their residents, are living with. What a shame that Denis Campbell couldn’t find it within herself to write sympathetically about this.

    Wednesday took me to The Leigh Sorts Village where Wigan and Leigh Hospice were running a training day for staff of Care Homes www.wlh.org.uk/

    I met wonderful courageous people who care despite the endless difficulties and misrepresentations. I heard about the initiative which has seen the Hospice create a team of five nurses working from the hospice to support Care Homes as their residents near death, sometimes with adverse symptoms and complex needs. Just marvellous to witness what is being done. Many residents, of course, are dying with dementia and it was my role to talk a little about this and to share the work we have done from Willow Wood Hospice, http://www.willowwood.info/patients-and-families/dementia-support

    It is marvellous to know what is being done so generously and positively by Care Homes and with Care Homes by hospices.

    We were easily into a dialogue which champions those working in this service as midwives to the dying. Just as important and just as worthy of respect and high kudos as those midwives who introduce small individuals into this world of ours.


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