Systemic failure highlighted by Amnesty International report about care home residents

Amnesty International is a global movement campaigning for human rights to be enjoyed by everyone all around the world. Its new report titled " As if expendable: The UK Government's Failure to protect older people in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic" is highlighting the systemic failure within the social care sector. 

 

There were several issues highlighted for care providers to act on, described below as bullet points. 

  • Visits suspended - Blanket rules on visiting is highlighted as a significant issue by the relatives and friends of the people living in care homes. It is advised that not to have 'blanket bans' but instead risk-assess each individual and circumstances before making such rules. Do consult with relatives and friends, highlight the safety issues and discuss how you could work together with them to keep your people safe. Lack of this consultative approach is a major cause of misunderstanding. 
  • Measuring quality in delivering care - Relatives were concerned about how the providers monitor the quality of care during the lockdown as no one had access to the building. You want to communicate how you monitor this, despite the challenges, in your newsletters. For example: Surveying residents & staff, sending in external quality monitoring consultants, remote monitoring using digital care planning. Without this assurance, relatives may even become paranoid about your operations. 
  • Effective use of PPE - Concerns were raised around lack and improper use of PPE. Providers to monitor how the staff are using PPE for frontline interactions. Now that government has taken measures to support care providers with an extra supply of PPE, this will be heavily scrutinised during the next CQC inspection. Providers need to ensure that staff follow PPE guidelines as per the government guidelines. 
  • Prolonged isolation - It is understandable that the care homes will have to go into lockdown if they have positive COVID cases. But that does not mean that in-house stimulating and meaningful activities should stop. In-house activities must continue and should be communicated with relatives. 
  • Lack of transparency - You might be doing things to protect your staff and residents. If you do not communicate this well to the relatives, it means you are not doing it. Effective communication with the stakeholders is the key to success during this pandemic. If your existing staff cannot do this, you might want to create an 'engagement officer' to keep relatives up to date regularly. 

 

Best wishes to keep your people safe. 

 

Team Care Home Shopping. 

 

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