There are "lessons to be learned" after care home death, admits council

Worcester News: Council under fire after care home death Council under fire after care home death

THE elected boss of adult care in Worcestershire says there are "lessons to be learned" after the county council was criticised following the death of a vulnerable man.

Councillor Sheila Blagg admitted a shock independent report revealing a catalogue of council failures after the death of a 70-year-old should serve as a wake-up call.

Your Worcester News can also reveal she has asked a council watchdog to probe the current care home inspections process to see if it can be improved.

As your Worcester News revealed this morning the county pensioner, who cannot be named, died two months after moving from one private care home to another despite the council's own assessment warning it would be "detrimental" to his needs.

He was suffering diabetes, dementia, epilepsy, heart and stroke problems and died last January after going to hospital with pneumonia and dehydration.

The council moved him to a cheaper home rather than pay £800 a week to keep him at the old one, despite recommendations not to.

The Local Government Ombudsman has since accused the council of trying to "contract out the responsibility" for his death.

Cllr Blagg, cabinet member for adult social care, said: "We recognise that responsibility very much.

"I know there is a team put in place now, which was not there at the time (of the death), that does go out and do inspections on the spot so we don't rely on the CQC (Care Quality Commission) to do it.

"That being said, I would like overview and scrutiny to look at it to ensure the system we've got is fit for purpose.

"It's vital it does what it is meant to do. But I know there are lessons to be learned from this, definitely."

Her comments were made during a meeting of the adult care and well being panel at County Hall today, where Liberal Democrat Councillor Tom Wells called the saga "horrific."

The ombudsman's report said the new nursing home was "not suitable" and his condition got worse within 10 days of his arrival.

Despite complaints from the family about the standard of care and his condition, the council never completed a safeguarding investigation and he died in January 2012.

The council has since paid his family £1,500 and reviewed its procedures in a bid to avoid a repeat.

Comments (5)

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9:19pm Tue 28 Jan 14

psychoflump says...

This doesn't really surprise me, the penny-pinching twerps that run Worcestershire social and NHS care / nursing home placements care more about money than the people they're supposed to be helping.
This doesn't really surprise me, the penny-pinching twerps that run Worcestershire social and NHS care / nursing home placements care more about money than the people they're supposed to be helping. psychoflump

10:17pm Tue 28 Jan 14

jb says...

'Lessons to be learnt' Allegedly we have a social care department which employes qualified and experienced social workers with senior qualified and experienced management teams so WHY should they need to learn lessons?? Apparently the below standard of care was partly responsible for what happened to this gentleman although it was the social care officers who put him in there in the first place to save money. Someone within the system made that decision so there is a name on a piece of paper to prove that but without doubt that person won't face anything worse than a ticking off or 'further training'. It appears that no one within this system is accountable for their actions. It doesn't matter how many checks are made on care homes if the process is not strictly adhered to and concerns acted upon.
There is an article in WN tonight about people with personal budgets needing Personal Assistants to help them with their care needs. Most people who need personal budgets can't get any where near enough to cover their full needs so someone like this gentleman who has complex care needs is going to find it extremely difficult to find the right care support at the right price. Also PA's are cheaper than agency Carers so it's no wonder Worcestershire County Council are advertising this, it saves them money but makes it far more difficult for people to find suitable care.
'Lessons to be learnt' Allegedly we have a social care department which employes qualified and experienced social workers with senior qualified and experienced management teams so WHY should they need to learn lessons?? Apparently the below standard of care was partly responsible for what happened to this gentleman although it was the social care officers who put him in there in the first place to save money. Someone within the system made that decision so there is a name on a piece of paper to prove that but without doubt that person won't face anything worse than a ticking off or 'further training'. It appears that no one within this system is accountable for their actions. It doesn't matter how many checks are made on care homes if the process is not strictly adhered to and concerns acted upon. There is an article in WN tonight about people with personal budgets needing Personal Assistants to help them with their care needs. Most people who need personal budgets can't get any where near enough to cover their full needs so someone like this gentleman who has complex care needs is going to find it extremely difficult to find the right care support at the right price. Also PA's are cheaper than agency Carers so it's no wonder Worcestershire County Council are advertising this, it saves them money but makes it far more difficult for people to find suitable care. jb

8:20am Wed 29 Jan 14

green49 says...

Lessons to learnt? councillor Blagg and the rest of the decision makers will never learn a lesson as they do not listen to expert advice when its given, they were told by the council staff who handled this NOT to move this man, as with these proposed cuts(done deal already) the Tory councillors will not take advice, they will be held to account in a review which i do hope comes then the taxpayer will see what a mess councillor Blagg and Mr hardman and others are getting us all into.

£1500 paid to his family is that all they thought his life was worth?
They are evil in my mind and i dea;l with care and other things and have a lot of knowledge as to whats happening and whats being told, by the council, the two things are vastly different,
Lessons to learnt? councillor Blagg and the rest of the decision makers will never learn a lesson as they do not listen to expert advice when its given, they were told by the council staff who handled this NOT to move this man, as with these proposed cuts(done deal already) the Tory councillors will not take advice, they will be held to account in a review which i do hope comes then the taxpayer will see what a mess councillor Blagg and Mr hardman and others are getting us all into. £1500 paid to his family is that all they thought his life was worth? They are evil in my mind and i dea;l with care and other things and have a lot of knowledge as to whats happening and whats being told, by the council, the two things are vastly different, green49

9:22am Wed 29 Jan 14

jb says...

I'm waiting with great interest for the outcome of the Future Lives consultation to be published, that said it may have little bearing on the actions the County Council actually take regarding the cut backs.
I'm waiting with great interest for the outcome of the Future Lives consultation to be published, that said it may have little bearing on the actions the County Council actually take regarding the cut backs. jb

6:57am Thu 30 Jan 14

green49 says...

This Council are DANGEROUES, someone whoever it was made the decision to move this person against proper advice, they should be held to account instead of remaing faceless, then again this Tory mob will do what they always do blame someone else.
This Council are DANGEROUES, someone whoever it was made the decision to move this person against proper advice, they should be held to account instead of remaing faceless, then again this Tory mob will do what they always do blame someone else. green49

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