Kate Watterson

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Audit finds some L.A. County nursing home cases prematurely closed

Los Angeles County auditors have found problems with the way the public health department investigates nursing home complaints involving issues of safety, neglect and other problems that could jeopardize the well-being of residents.<p>After reviewing a sampling of cases from 2012 to this year, they …

Should video cameras be used in nursing homes?

A proposal from the Illinois attorney general's office to allow camera monitoring in nursing homes is drawing cautious support from elder care advocates, who have raised concerns about the privacy of seniors.<p>Attorney General Lisa Madigan's proposal, announced Monday, would allow video cameras and …

Long-Term Care

There’s A Better Alternative To Nursing Homes And No One’s Talking About It

Once an aging parent loses the ability to function on his or her own, it becomes the child's responsibility to ensure she or he is taken care of.<p>For many, that means putting their parent somewhere safe.<p>That priority is entirely misplaced, says Atul Gawande in his new book, "Being Mortal."<p>Instead of …

Vulnerable people 'being kept prisoner in care homes'

Tens of thousands of the most vulnerable patients are effectively being kept prisoner in care homes and hospitals through misuse of mental health laws, a damning House of Lords investigation has found.<p>In the worst cases, safeguards aimed at protecting patients with a range of conditions are being …

Why was this Hayling Island care home voted best in the UK by residents?

From the outside, it is a pretty undistinguished looking place. Two houses knocked into one on an ordinary street, with walls that its owner says are soon to get a much-needed fresh coat of paint. There is no sign to tell you that this is a care home, let alone possibly the best care home in the UK.<p>…

Essex care home worker sacked over elderly abuse claims

One staff member has been sacked at an Essex care home and seven others have been suspended after secret cameras filmed alleged poor care of residents.<p>Anglia Retirement Homes said it had launched an independent inquiry into the allegations after the BBC says it filmed staff mocking residents and …

Panorama care home abuse is shocking, but where are stories of good practice?

The Panorama progamme Behind Closed Doors: Elderly Care Exposed, broadcast on Wednesday night, has once again captured shocking scenes of alleged abuse and neglect in care homes. It is with a heavy heart that those of us in the care industry pick up the headlines to see "staff sacking and …

Care home inspections are futile

The horrific standards of elderly care exposed by the BBC's Panorama on Wednesday must have put paid to any idea that it is possible to inspect quality into a service – a concept that has anyway been made redundant by companies and service industries since management guru W Edwards Deming denounced …

Essex care home worker arrested on suspicion of assaulting elderly resident

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a resident at a care home that was the subject of an undercover investigation by the BBC's Panorama.<p>The woman, in her 40s, was arrested on Friday by detectives probing abuse at the Old Deanery care home in Braintree, Essex police said.<p>Anglia …

Sara McKee: 'No one wants to go into a care home'

Unlikely as it may seem, the future of housing for older people may be about to be shaped in a former Lancashire textile mill. That is the firm conviction of Sara McKee, a woman on a mission to prove that later life is best lived in company, with care and support on hand, but at your own pace and …

Hospital trust regime extended to failing care homes

Failing care homes could be put into a similar failure regime as poorly performing hospitals, the health secretary is to announce.<p>Jeremy Hunt will say that most of the hospital trusts that were put into special measures a year ago have shown significant improvements as he announces that the …

Special measures for care homes must be properly funded if they are to work

Wednesday's government announcement that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is going to develop a special measures regime for care homes was not entirely unexpected. It is a result of what the government sees as a successful special measures regime that has been applied to hospitals.<p>In the case of …

Complainant count in Welsh care home abuse inquiry rises to 275

Police investigating allegations of historical sexual abuse in the north Wales care system have said 275 people have come forward to report that they were assaulted or mistreated.<p>By the beginning of this month, 120 names or partial names of possible offenders had been provided to detectives and 49 …

Special Measures for Care Homes - a Last Resort

It was inevitable that the government would extend 'special measures' to failing care homes and home care agencies having used the regime with some …

Does residential care need to be rebranded under a new name?

The last few weeks have seemed like open season for attacks on care homes, with health secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens criticising the model of residential care and the quality of services. Clearly there should be no place for services that fall short of accepted …

Beth Britton: 'Care homes must not be police states'

Only once has Beth Britton lost her remarkable poise when talking about her late father's dementia. It was in an interview for an official film for the G8 dementia summit in London last December. If you watch the end of the two-minute edited version on YouTube, you can see her welling up as she …

Manitoba home-care worker jailed for robbing elderly to fund cocaine habit

A former home-care worker has been sent to jail for stealing purses and wallets from several elderly people in western Manitoba to feed her cocaine addiction.<p>Debbie Ann Smith, 51, was sentenced this week on charges involving thefts in the Russell, Foxwarren and St. Lazare areas last summer, as well …

Care workers take Hampshire home employers to tribunal over pay and working hours

Eleven female carers to the elderly are taking their employers to a tribunal claiming they were only paid by the minutes they spent with clients rather than their rostered working hours.<p>The staff, who were on zero-hours contracts, allege that, due to the arrangements, they were paid less than the …

Cocktails in Care Homes: 'It's an occasion, people wonder what to wear'

In 2010, Magic Me, an arts charity that aims to bridge the gap between young and older people, dreamed up an idea to alleviate the boredom of care home residents in the evenings: Cocktails in Care Homes. "I don't know if you've ever been to a care home," says Clea House, Magic Me's community and …

Andy Burnham: older people should receive care at home, not hospital

Housing, charities and community services must play a bigger role in preparing for and supporting an ageing population, according to Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary.<p>At present, society is trying to cater for increasing numbers of older people with a medical model of care, Burnham told a …

Seven care home workers charged over ill-treatment of vulnerable adults

Seven care workers have been charged following an investigation into the ill-treatment of vulnerable adults with a learning disability in residential homes.<p>They were arrested in 2013, as part of Operation Baddeck – which examined allegations surrounding the treatment of 11 residents at three care …

Patchy dementia care puts patients at risk of unnecessary suffering, says CQC

Nine out of 10 care homes and hospitals in England have aspects of care for people with dementia that are variable or poor, making those with the condition likely to receive substandard treatment at some point, according to an important review by the NHS regulator.<p>In Cracks in the Pathway, …

CCTV in care homes: secret cameras are not the way to improve care

The Care Quality Commission is to provide guidance to families and providers about using cameras to monitor the quality of care in residential homes and other settings. Why is the CQC doing this? Isn’t it a bit like bolting the stable door well and truly after the horse has fled? Surely the …

Care Quality Commission annual report: responses from the social care sector

There are “significant differences in the quality of adult social care that people receive in England”, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found.<p>The State of Care report for 2013/14, which also considers healthcare, found that: “This variation in the quality and safety of care in England is too …

Is this a good time to dilute care home rules?

When inspectors arrived at the 82-bed specialist dementia care home in Peterborough, and ventured beyond the immaculate reception area, they first smelled the urine and then found residents still in bed at 10.30am, some lying in wet sheets, with staff ignoring their pleas for help. It was judged …