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Families should never be afraid to complain to care homes, urges senior nurse

Families should never be afraid to raise concerns about the standard of care their loved ones are receiving.
complaining

Families should never be afraid to raise concerns about the standard of care their loved ones are receiving.

Four Seasons Health Care head of nursing Joanne Strain was speaking after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said care homes will have reveal how many patients they evicted, and how many relatives have had visiting rights restricted.

I think most people know how to complain, but it is understandable some might be afraid to,' said Ms Strain, who is responsible for nursing at Four Season Health Care's 300 UK care homes.

She added: If anyone has concerns about care, then they have a right and a duty to speak out.

The CQC's decision comes following reports that relatives have been prohibited from visiting loved ones after complaining about poor care.

A Somerset

Families should never be afraid to raise concerns about the standard of care their loved ones are receiving.

Four Seasons Health Care head of nursing Joanne Strain was speaking after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said care homes will have reveal how many patients they evicted, and how many relatives have had visiting rights restricted.

Complaints
Relatives should be able to complain without being afraid. Picture: iStock

‘I think most people know how to complain, but it is understandable some might be afraid to,'  said Ms Strain, who is responsible for nursing at Four Season Health Care's 300 UK care homes.

She added: ‘If anyone has concerns about care, then they have a right and a duty to speak out.’

The CQC's decision comes following reports that relatives have been prohibited from visiting loved ones after complaining about poor care.

A Somerset care home prevented a man from visiting his 93-year-old father after making a complaint, and the family of a woman in a home in Essex say she was evicted after they raised concerns, BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme reported.

The CQC told BBC Radio 4's You And Yours programme that care homes will be obliged to tell inspectors how many people have had visiting rights restricted and how many residents have been removed against their will.

What are the rights?

It has also issued guidance clarifying people's rights surrounding care homes and its expectations of providers.

CQC chief inspector of adult social care Andrea Sutcliffe said: 'Care homes are people's homes.

'They, their family and friends should not live in fear of being penalised for raising concerns. Good providers know this and we see plenty of excellent practice where managers and staff respond to complaints positively and make sure it is as easy as possible for people to visit their loved ones in a welcoming, friendly environment.

'But we know this is not always everyone's experience, with reports of visiting restrictions and people being forced to leave against their wishes.

'We also know that too many people are frightened to raise concerns because they think this is going to happen.'

Data collecting

Ms Strain added that producing data the CQC has called for will take time.

She said: ‘While any good provider will have a clear complaints policy, unless everything is very well documented then how is the CQC actually going to quantify all that data?

‘It may have a list showing number of evictions and visitors banned by care homes, but how will it then establish the link showing them occurring as a result of complaints having been made?

‘There are around 500,000 people living in care homes in the UK so it will be a massive task.’

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