After reading this back, it’s turned out to be quite a bit longer than I originally thought.
It is good to hear that in a small way the information I shared may have helped with your brother moving to a better home.
From reading your story, it is sadly very similar to ours, and I wonder how many others have a comparable tale to tell.
Unfortunately, I have found profits appear to be of more important than people in some organisations, and more worryingly, in my opinion, ignored or assisted by some local authorities.
I am sure your brother’s move, managed by you and a competent social worker will have a significant impact on the improvement to, not only your brother’s quality of life but that of your dad’s too.
I note his assessment was with his keyworker present, I don’t know if you are aware or not, but your brother has a right to an independent advocate who can be present for assessments. This can help in an event such as a paid carer attempting to influence any decisions for their own benefit.
If there is no dispute in your family as to the best interests of your brother, you should be able to advocate for him.
When moving care homes, my understanding of the law is that it needs to be in his best interest and meet his needs, if there is a dispute about him moving a best interests meeting should be held without delay, addressing the benefits and burdens of moving him.
I hope that in two weeks time the news is good and the decision is unanimous in moving your brother to a better home closer to your father.
Something worth noting is in The Social Worker Code of Practice it says social workers should not collude with the erosion of human rights or allow their skills to be used for threats to family life of those in vulnerable positions.
It also says social workers should be prepared to be accountable for and justify their judgements and actions to people who use services, the general public and employers.
I will be updating our website with a page to some of the many pieces of legislation that I have learned about, used or referred to for help with our battle of addressing inadequate care and support and institutional abuse.
One piece of legislation that I recently have been reading, and which I believe is worth you looking at, is The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. It places a duty on local councils to assess needs for and help with phone service and any necessary special equipment, even installation and rental costs. Possibly something your brother needs, there is also a part mentioning providing holidays, which could be simply a break from a regular carer.
I completely understand your concern for the other residents in the current home; I have a similar concern where my brother is.
It’s even more troubling when you have identified issues in a home and relatives of others may have been misled, deceived or unaware of concerns.
Our experience of advocates has been mixed. I discovered after a care review meeting one particular RPR was negligent and the providing service protected them, even though The Mental Capacity Act does not allow for negligence whether harm is caused or not. I hope the person you mention who has no relatives, at least has a trustworthy advocate who will challenge any care and support concerns for them.
Regarding The CQC. I too have been disappointed with CQC inspections and reports.
The latest report where my brother is, stating there were nine complaints on behalf of the five people who live in the home since the last inspection (high in my opinion), and medication records were accurate, when in fact I showed a document that proved otherwise; yet the home received a good rating.
Most recently I have made The CQC aware that the home we have concerns about, have I believe temporarily moved staff and resources from two other homes to make it appear adequate for the approaching inspection that is due to take place.
Something that I have suspected in the past and unfortunately reinforced after I heard from a whistleblower.
In my opinion, the state of the care system is not only dire but in places corrupt and dangerous. A very sorry state of affairs indeed.
Like yourself, I will take issue with The CQC if the home I have concerns about is not downgrade.
From experience, I have found wilful ignorance to be a common practice when concerns are raised with our provider and some social service staff; safeguarding appearing only to apply if identified by council staff, and not relatives.
I entirely agree with your comment about the use of the phrase service users; I find the term uncomfortable and borderline offensive toward the people it refers to, after all, they are not people using a pump at a petrol station they are individuals living in their homes.
Reading your last paragraph, it sounds like you, fortunately, have a decent social worker who has your brother’s best interests and needs as the primary concern and on your side, similar to what is happening with my brother at the moment.
It appears to me that before anyone is provided with proper care and support, or action is considered, the vulnerable must suffer and their family or relative is required to battle for at least two years, then and only then by such trial does any change for the better begin to be examined or happen.
One thing I have requested that my brother is given is helped to make some friends. A care act advocate and I noted he appears lonely, even though living in a home with others, I firmly believe the other residents who live there are the same.
Regarding contact with your brother’s fellow residents families, I think you may have difficulty but understand why you would want to communicate with them. I have said to some professionals that I would like to speak with the relatives of other residents at the home where my brother is, or pass on my details, but have not heard anymore. Unfortunately, I suspect you may experience the same, although I hope not.
I may request the same again or attempt a different way of contacting the relatives of the other individuals, and if successful I will post how I was able to do so.
Ensuring social services and The CQC are aware of the past couple of years, for the sake of the other residents may provide significant data that they need, as I will also be doing with my brother’s case.
I am hopeful a law firm will take on our case, and allow me to prove not only inadequate care and support but negligence, bringing such before a court of law.
For now, I wish you good luck and hope your brother’s move is a huge success and significant improvement to his quality of life, I suspect it may also help with your health and wellbeing.