No place like home


I saw on the BBC yesterday that a man died in an EMI/Dementia registered nursing home in Hertfordshire. It was only a passing reference on the news but I thought I’d check the CSCI report of the home in question.

This is a quote taken from the CSCI unannounced inspection back in October of the Alexandra Care Centre

‘The proposed basic dementia care training that was planned has not yet taken
place, in part it is recognised because of the priority that was rightly given to
addressing serious deficiencies with the level of basic training for staff. This is
now an urgent priority as significant weaknesses in the standard of some of
the dementia care practices in the home were found in this inspection, and this
is adversely impacting on the care experience of people with dementia living
there.
People living in the home are not always able to exercise genuine choice over
some of the most basic routines in the home, for example the time they
choose to get up or go to bed. There is some evidence that the operational
requirements of the home and the convenience of care staff have taken
unreasonable priority over the wishes and preferences of people living in the
home and receiving care.’

Of course, there are very few details about this particular, tragic case and we know nothing of the circumstances and it is best not to speculate. Another thing it’s worth noting is that the care staff are praised generally by the inspector, with the requisite quotations from happy residents and family members – which is all the more indicative of the need of management to provide (i.e. pay for) a good standard of basic training to support the residents of this home – and staffing levels.

The other side note was that there was barely a couple of minutes mention of the story on the news and I have since, been able to find mention on a local website which doesn’t seem to mention the issue of the man in question.

Marginally concerning was the embargo on placements that they expect to be lifted within a week – while there are still a number of people living there and with the expectation that things will improve within a week..

It’s easy to be wise after the event and it is a terribly tragic event and I’m loathe to draw on it except to mention that sloppy work cultures even with the best meaning staff can lead to poor performance in business but when working with the most precious commodities, namely the lives of individuals who are dependent on others, it is close to unforgiveable.

I think when ‘operational requirements’ take precedence over ‘the wishes and preferences of people living in the home and receiving care’, we are on a slippery slope. It’s good this was highlighted by the CSCI – but it was raised back in October. Unfortunately it’s only when the wallet talks and the money stops rolling in, that the action can really happen.

3 thoughts on “No place like home

  1. I feel that any people working in dementia care enviroments should have to complete a high standard to training in dementia.. This will allow the people living in these places to get the proper trained staff to look after them properly and to understand them. Dementia can be very complex and a good understanding of the condition is essential…

  2. Absolutely agree! I know the new Strategy on Dementia mentions something about specific dementia training for all those who work in this area. I haven’t read through it in any detail yet though to know how this differs from the advice to train which was given (and ignored) in the case above. We can only be hopeful though..

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