A WEEK after retired primary schoolteacher Kathleen Robinson was found lying on the floor in the dining room of her care home, she died.
Her carers have no idea how the 90-year-old fell from her wheelchair — because they weren’t there to supervise her.
The unexplained fall left frail Kathleen needing extensive surgery and she told staff she was in pain.
Her care home had been rated “good” by the independent regulator of health and social care, the Care Quality Commission, though residents were often left unattended.
After Kathleen’s death, the home has promised to change its ways.
Because we are living longer, and families are often spread across the country, many of us will have to spend time in a care home.
In your twilight years, you should be able to expect top-notch care in a place where you don’t have to do your own cooking or cleaning.
There should be qualified staff meeting your needs, making you feel safe, as if you were their top priority.
You would spend your days reminiscing, drinking endless cups of tea and eating chocolate biscuits without giving a damn about your figure.
Your evenings would be whiled away watching Coronation Street and playing bingo without an ounce of embarrassment. Sounds a lovely idea, doesn’t it?
Sadly, the reality is very different. Firstly, you or your family will probably have to pay a fortune for you to be there. And it has just been revealed there is a real chance you could get seriously injured, too.
The CQC admits the number of serious injuries reported by care homes in England has almost doubled since 2011, reaching a high of 43,594 last year.
This year they are predicted to be even higher. “Serious injury”, by the way, includes death. Age UK says providers face a “perfect storm” caused by council cuts and workforce shortages.
I have seen first-hand how incompetent the system can be.
Someone close to me was recently welcomed into a care home. They were eager to have him as a resident — and the cost was extortionate.
It later transpired it didn’t have the resources to look after him and the staff couldn’t give the “care” he needed, because they didn’t have the correct knowledge.
His basic requirements simply weren’t met, which meant he ended up in hospital. Tragically, like Kathleen and many others, he never returned home.
For the past two years, the Government has been promising a Green Paper to deal with the safety of care and how it is funded.
That is not just for the elderly, as many corners of the system need addressing.
Some of the shortcomings are terrifying.
Earlier this summer, Panorama broadcast shocking undercover footage of carers allegedly abusing people with learning disabilities at an independent hospital in Durham.
Staff taunted, provoked and intimidated some of the vulnerable patients they were meant to be looking after.
A year earlier, the CQC had rated that home as “good”, too.
It just isn’t possible to go undercover in every nursing home or care home in England. Action must be taken.
Nobody wants to feel scared to go into a care home. And no relative wants to feel dreadful after putting those closest to them into one.
There are about 400,000 residents in nursing and residential care homes in this country. But as it stands, I would do everything in my power to prevent a loved one adding to that number.
Sadly, I know many others who feel exactly the same, though it would mean them giving up a job that they love — and that pays the bills — to care for them themselves.
What is the point of a “care” system if nobody cares?
THE Bottle Cap Challenge – unscrewing a bottle top with a 360-degree kick – has taken over the web.
Kendall Jenner’s effort is the best yet. She pulled off the viral stunt while driving a jet ski, clad in a tiny bikini, and kicking out her leg to loosen the top with her toe.
I can’t wait to see the next celeb who wants to keep up with this Kardashian.
Does Julio Javier no heart?
JULIO Iglesias loved being a pin-up back in the Seventies, boasting about his “weakness for women” – and bedding 3,000, by his reckoning.
So when Portuguese former ballerina Maria Edite Santos said she was one of the notches on his bedpost and was pregnant, you’d imagine he would check his little black book (this is long before Facebook) and realise the chances are he was the father.
He didn’t, so Maria had to prove he was the dad of her son, Javier Sanchez.
Finally, this week, after a battle lasting THREE DECADES, a judge ruled that the circumstances and the resemblance between Julio – who never agreed to give DNA – and 43-year-old DJ Javier proved he was the father.
The 75-year-old is a dad of eight, including singer Enrique, so surely by now he should know a bit about fatherhood.
However, Julio’s actions plainly prove that he doesn’t. And it’s clear his biggest weakness isn’t a passion for women, but a lack of decency.
Depraved and free
VANESSA George is Britain’s most notorious female paedophile.
The former Plymouth nursery nurse was jailed in 2009 after photographing herself abusing 64 babies and toddlers, then sending the pictures on to other perverts.
The 49-year-old mum-of-two got a minimum of seven years for the offences, which a judge said “plumbed new depths of depravity”.
But on Thursday, the Parole Board said she should be freed as she no longer poses a “significant risk” to children and had shown “remorse”.
I wonder if the panel would allow their young children anywhere near her. I doubt it.
It's perky in clink
ONE in 50 male prisoners say they are transgender, new figures from the jail watchdog reveal. That is more than four times the rate among the general population.
Trans prisoners get to shower on their own and have their own cell – and they can switch between male and female jails.
Apparently, there are concerns some inmates are falsely claiming to identify as the opposite sex to get the perks. I wouldn’t call those “concerns”. That’s reality.
AMAZON’S Alexa is to step up a gear by answering health queries using NHS websites for information.
It will appeal to anyone sick of struggling to get an appointment with a GP – and will be a tiny bit safer than “Dr Google” because it is verified by health experts.
But for those, like me, with a broad Yorkshire accent, it can be tricky.
Nine times out of ten, Alexa hasn’t got a clue what I’m saying – unless I put on my “posh voice”.
Not right call for brothers
I LOVED last year’s film Bros: After The Screaming Stops. It was utterly fun and bonkers.
Luke and Matt Goss gave a very bizarre glimpse into their lives with some hilarious commentary.
Matt revealed their favourite toy when they were little was a dart – not a dartboard, just a dart – and said he liked to relax with crystals and a whisky.
Luke said he was a Londoner who loves Big Ben and Embankment.
This week they gave another glimpse into the world of Bros when Luke revealed that Matt flashes his manhood when they FaceTime each other, trying to embarrass him if he has someone with him.
There is no way that can be described as brotherly love.
They are 50 years old. That’s just wrong.
most read in opinion
THE SUN ON SUNDAY SAYS Met bigwig Neil Basu's threat to Press over embassy leak is chilling
KARREN BRADY New report makes it clear that Lords and MP must put their houses in order
JAMES FORSYTH There is a huge amount riding on Boris Johnson's first 72 hours in No10
Glast and loose
RACHEL Bailey has been fined £120 for taking her 15-year-old twins out of school to go to Glastonbury.
She hit back by saying her kids Blade and Trinity learned more at the music festival than they would have done in the classroom.
I bet their teachers loved that.
Rachel claimed it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience because they went camping, saw recycling in action and heard some amazing music.
With that argument, she could tick off history at Alton Towers and French at Disneyland Paris.
It wouldn’t really help with the rest of their GCSEs though, would it?
- GOT a news story? RING us on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article