Wednesday, 3 February 2010

A slight hitch, Part 2.

Continued from A slight hitch. It was on Friday February 13th 2009 that mum collapsed with a UTI and ended up in a nursing home after 3 weeks in hospital. As it had a 3-star CSCI (now CQC) rating, I thought that life would improve for her. Boy, was I wrong!

Due to me being depressed for about 6 months, I didn't deal with the endless litany of problems that mum's friend reported to me other than pass them on the the Home Manager for action. As there was no other nursing homes in the area that had a 3-star rating, both mum & I were stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Luckily, I broke out of the vicious circle of depression, crap diet, more depression, more crap diet etc. Then I saw the BBC documentary about Sir Gerry Robinson trying to "fix" dementia care homes. It wasn't just an eye-opener to Sir Gerry. It was an eye-opener to me, too. The programme showed me the difference between good nursing homes and crap nursing homes. Sadly, the nursing home that mum was in fell into the "crap" category, despite charging over £800 per week. I can't name names as I don't want to be sued.

I started to complain more vocally about the poor standard of care at mum's home but things weren't getting any better. One day, I bumped into the activities co-ordinator who was looking glum so I asked her what the matter was. She told me that she was leaving as she couldn't stand working there any more. I asked her what work she would be doing after leaving and she told me that she would be working as activities co-ordinator in a new nursing home that hadn't yet opened. I got the details off her and I was round there like a shot!

The upshot is that I am moving mum to the new nursing home when they are able to take her. In the meantime, I got the mobile number of an MD of the company that runs mum's current nursing home and complained to her. I had a meeting with the MD and two Operations managers and I thought that things would improve. Boy, was I wrong!

After yet more complaints from mum's friend and finding that the MD was on holiday, I reached the end of my tether and sent a complaint to the CQC, who contacted the Home Manager, who almost certainly contacted head office. I got an e-mail from the Senior Operations manager inviting me to another meeting, where I was metaphorically savaged for being "aggressive" and "intimidating" to staff at the nursing home. I am as aggressive and intimidating as a dead sheep! The next point will be of interest to anyone that has Power of Attorney.

Not a lot of people know this (myself included), but Enduring Power of Attorney gives you the authority to act on someone's behalf for property and financial affairs ONLY. I had no authority over mum's personal welfare and so all of the supplements that I had put her on to help her mental function were stopped pending investigation by an NHS dietician despite mum's GP O.K.'ing me to supply them.

The only way that I can have authority over mum's personal welfare is to become her Deputy, which means applying to the Court of Protection. COP1, COP1B, COP2, COP3 & COP4 are the relevant forms, plus COP44A as I would apply for fee exemption on the grounds of low income.

I also have to register my Enduring Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian, as mum's mental faculties are such that she can no longer make important decisions for herself. You need the Enduring Power of Attorney registration pack (ZIP 0.94MB).

I also contacted the Social Services Access Team to report mum as a vulnerable person at risk. There's going to be a "robust" meeting next week.

Continued on A slight hitch, Part 3.


x said...

Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time Nigel.. and hope the new home for your Mum is better. Good luck.

Nigel Kinbrum said...