Lewes Forum thread

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care homes

On 26 Dec 2011 at 8:10pm newcomer wrote:
I am looking for a care home in lewes for my mother. Does anyone know anything about north corner?
On 27 Dec 2011 at 1:07am Leaf wrote:
It had a bad reputation years ago. I recently visited and it now seems lovely, nice owner and seemingly happy residents.
On 27 Dec 2011 at 6:21am in the know wrote:
My wife worked there about 4 years ago as a carer. She also knows people who still work there. It hasn't changed owners and it is still run like a concentration camp. Please please do not send your mother there.
On 27 Dec 2011 at 9:22am Leaf wrote:
I really didn't get that impression, but if I were looking for somewhere for a relative I would go and see the places a good care home will not mind showing you around.
On 27 Dec 2011 at 11:43am Mme B wrote:
Every care home is inspected by the Inspection Unit at the County Council. I think you can find copies of their reports on line, or at the library, or you can ask the home you are visiting to show you the whole report. Hope this is helpful.
On 27 Dec 2011 at 1:47pm Bling Mare wrote:
An endorsement by our County Council is not a recommendation.
If I were looking for a care home I would be looking at Lydfords in East Hoathly.
On 27 Dec 2011 at 3:11pm Bit of an expert wrote:
It is a lottery. The Care Quality Commission is supposed to be in charge of inspecting, rating and controlling care homes, but they are a seriously inept organisation despite the head woman trousering about £435k last year. See Private Eye over recent years for the full horror story.
The most reliable way to research care homes is as follows:
1. Turn up to a pre-arranged appointment
2. Turn up unannounced (outside of peak times such as lunch or morning getting-up time
3. Turn up on a sunday evening
4. Telephone in the middle of the night
5. Speak to relatives of residents outside as they come and go
6. Check staff numbers, staff numbers per shift, levels of qualification, duration of service
7. Ask to have a meal there
8. Google everything you can think of about the place
9. Check their contractual small-print
10. Try and sound one of the room alarms and see how quickly it's answered
11. Check the range of services versus your relative's current (and likely future) needs
12. Resort to gut instinct
It's a nightmare, although it is possible to find a well-run home if you're lucky
On 27 Dec 2011 at 4:23pm jonnyboy wrote:
"Bit of an expert". An excellent and comprehensive list. It was by turning up unannounced at the first home my mother was in, that we discovered the true horror of the place and appalling level of care she was receiving.
On 27 Dec 2011 at 5:32pm jrsussex wrote:
Bit of an expert obviously is. It has to be accepted that the majority of residential/nursing homes are well run, it is unfortunate that they receive little publicity. Also some establishments receive complaints that are not really justified in that no care/nursing service,whether NHS or private can literally provide 24/7 care, it would simply be too expensive.
Your check list is very good but I would add that when searching for a placement for a relative or close friend that you have trust in look first at the level of care given. Quire often the built for purpose state of the art homes lack the individuallity of that home that maybe could be with a lick of paint. I believe the best pointer for relatives is the staff, the manner in which they talk to clents and their relatives is often an indication of quality care and support.
There are so many good homes out there that it unfair to label them all as bad places. One area which I personally feel strongly about is that if you feel you mother.father etc in hospital is not receiving adequate care in such as feeding then get in there and do it yourself, it is your parent who spent much of their lives caring for you. You cannot have a nurse sat by the side of every patient 24/7, it is unrealistic to believe you should. I have had a couple of longish stays in hospitals and have witnessed the overworked staff and the unbelievable demands of some patients and their relatives.
And yes the CQC do require a kick up the backside to get their house in order.
On 28 Dec 2011 at 2:23am Bit of an expert wrote:
My list above was not intended to be the total extent to which the individual must check and check again the home with which to trust their loved one(s).
I would seriously question whether the majority of care homes are as good as jrsussex implies, but I guess it's down to one's standards and expectations. Too many homes are run by people who don't have the necessary 'caring' genes in their DNA; too many homes are run by large organisations who are in a similar boat to Four Seasons and Southern Cross - who are finding out that they over-borrowed to buy them; too many GPs treat care home residents as simply numbers, not as the independent individuals that they always have been.
Generally speaking, the religeously-run homes tend to be at the higher end of the quality spectrum, but are obviously harder to qualify for entry into.
But the vitally important role for relatives being involved, being seen to be involved, being carefully insistent advocates for, and clearly not being prepared to tolerate their reasonable requests being ignored, is the most important part of having a relative in a care home. Hope that makes sense - it's late and I'm remembering oh so much about my late parents and their time in care homes...
On 28 Dec 2011 at 2:29pm TT wrote:
Good advice above- you can always contact local carers organisations or voluntary sector groups such as Alzheimers Society whoo will have loads of local knowledge about homes.
Or a local GP surgery.
Or you could send Freedom of Information requests to the Local Authority and or CQC and ask how many Safeguarding Adults at Risk alerts they have received pertaining to an indivdual home regarding the standard of care.
Finally look past the soft furnishings and try to establish staff attitudes
On 28 Dec 2011 at 3:54pm jrsussex wrote:
Bit of an expert - I stand by my statement that the majority of homes are well run. My wife has worked in the care industry for 29yrs, working her way up from from having no qualifications to the position of manager, and has witnessed poor practice etc but insists it is a minority matter. That does not imply it should not be investigated and dealt with but to tar the majority with the brush is wrong. There are many thousands of care workers, nursing, catering and administration staff plus cleaners etc that work hard and demonstrate daily their devotion to the industry.
As TT says look past the soft furnishings, it is the staff of all levels that will indicate the quality of care.
On 29 Dec 2011 at 6:25pm Cleopatra wrote:
My father was until recently in Limetree in Ringmer, the care he received there was fantastic & the kindness & warmth he & us as a family received was faultless. There was always a cup of tea for us when we sat down & all the residents seemed happy & well cared for. We were sad when we had to move him due to his needs increasing & therefore he had to be moved into a nursing home

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