my involvement with CQC's
Adult Social Care Co-Production Group I was
invited by Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social
Care, and the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, to
participate in today's launch of the Special Measures regime
for Adult Social Care. My role was to talk about my
personal experiences of my father's care.
This is the statement I wrote for the press briefing (The personal
details within this statement have already been extensively written
about on my D4Dementia
I would like to spend a couple of minutes framing this
announcement around my personal experiences, to illustrate to
anyone who hasn’t experienced the poor care of a loved
one just how devastating it can be.
My father lived with vascular dementia for 19 years,
the last 9 years of which he spent in 3 different care homes.
vast majority of his care was excellent, in the last 6
of his life, a new provider took over his care home and
almost overnight the culture changed. New management
came in, the staff who had cared for my father for many years
left, and the home was being run
largely on agency
staff. The care dramatically declined.
As a family we raised concerns first with the manager,
then with directors from the provider company, and
we weren’t the only family who was worried about
a loved one in that care home. Eventually CQC inspected
after our initial concerns, but it took a further 2
months for a report to be published.
During those months of increasing concern, my father
rapidly deteriorated and became incredibly frail.
pressure sores. Eventually, one night he aspirated
on his own vomit 5
times. He was rushed to hospital, and was made the
subject of safeguarding. The doctors who treated
my dad said
on your own vomit is a bit like pouring acid into
your lungs. He never recovered from the pneumonia caused
by the aspiration,
and died a month later.
His hospital care was excellent. And the end-of-life
care he received in another care home in the last
2 weeks of
And that’s the point. Most care is excellent. Most care
workers are dedicated, and often undervalued, professionals.
There is, however, a minority of care that falls below what is
expected. The sort of ‘care’ that gives
social care a bad name.
People who use social care services and their families
need to know that if a provider fails in their
duty of care that there
is a system in place to halt that neglect and
change the culture, and do so in a timely, but also a
I hope that
the new special measures regime will achieve
I welcome the opportunity to work with Andrea,
her team and colleagues from across the care
of this new
regime outlined by the Secretary of State.
In my view, people receiving social care services,
less than the very best care the UK can offer
I gave interviews to the BBC, ITV, Sky News, Channel 4 and Channel
5. This is ITV's report of the announcement: http://www.itv.com/news/update/2014-07-16/new-pledge-to-crack-down-on-failing-care-homes/.
Channel 4's coverage is here: http://www.channel4.com/news/care-homes-special-measures-poor-performing-nhs-trusts-video.