Who is responsible for our failing care systems?

Who is responsible for our failing care systems and not protecting people?

In the Foundation we spend a lot of time, listening to the sad stories of people and families in care.

As best as we can, until the Edith Ellen Carers are in a position to start influencing a more caring approach in the UK care systems, we try to help, support and guide people and their families towards the kind of care we all would like to receive.

If care throughout the NHS and Social Care, was delivered as it should, this Foundation would not be needed. We know that good care does exist, but unfortunately as the Foundation has experienced, in the main, it becomes buried, not celebrated and shared throughout all care services.

In reality it is uninterested and mediocre care systems which are shaping the future of our care. However might we might want to ignore it, current NHS and Care Services are failing everyone, not just those receiving care but those delivering good care as well.

Rather than care where people are encouraged to live out their life to the full, even with their complex health conditions, many people are finding each day a struggle to survive because indifferent care is hard to overcome. Can we really say our people in care, wake up each morning, finding some comfort and enjoyment in wanting to continue with life, rather than contemplating an early death to end a miserable existence?

Care should never condone unkind and uncompassionate care attitude, but it does! No one should inflict their hell of relentless pain and mental and physical anguish onto our vulnerable people until they simply give up and die. Or for people to die of abuse and neglect, which is some case, is exactly what is happening here in the UK, a country that prides itself on its humanity! So who accepts the responsibility of not protecting our people and improving their quality of life in our NHS and Social Care? Is it successive Governments who have fail to understand how our NHS and Care Systems really work, or why they are collapsing, when it is pretty obvious to everyone else that using the same old policies and rhetoric is never going to achieve anything other than an increase in mortality rates? Or is it our legal systems, where even those responsible for Care Legislation, procedures in the Courts of Protection and Safeguarding Systems believe processes are too complicated and legalistic and often fails to achieve a positive outcome for the person concerned or their family? Or when care staff are found guilty of a criminal crime, they are not always prevented from reappearing in caring at a later date. Or is it the Regulatory body and Local Authorities that find it easier to close our care homes rather than replace poor management, and uncaring staff, and improve care delivery to a meaningful care standard? Instead, all over the country we have vulnerable people and their families worried sick that any move will cause their loved ones sufficient distress to hasten the end of their life! Or is it the uncaring disconnected and dysfunctional care managers, who despite being given warning after warning continue to act without any real consequences, and whom still pretending they don’t know people are being left crying in pain and scared when they are wrongly lifted, left in wet beds with horrendous bedsores, choking because they are being feed lying down on pegs feeds, subjected to regular infections, and possibly sepsis, because of poor cleanliness and neglect. Who also demotivate and lose good staff and suffocate great ideas from their workforce, or bully families who are too afraid to speak out in case of evictions or threats to care of their loved one? Or is it the wrongly recruited or badly trained staff, who catheterising when not needed, or tell our frail people to wet and pooh in their beds as it to saves them bothering to take people to the toilet; or refuse to feed a person as they do not feel they are equipped to provide first aid, or leave them without a drink, or laugh at a person walking around eating the faeces they are covered in because they were not changed in time. Or is it our health professionals, when Safeguarding or Multi- Disciplinary Meetings take place with documented plans, they do not happen and patients suffer the consequences? Or is it the “joined up services” that aren’t always available when needed and which result in people miss out on important hospital appointments? Or are we, as nation to blame, as we don’t want to believe that bad care might exist, or we have become complacent because we have accepted “this is as good as it is, and nothing can change” ? Or is it simply that until we are touched by care, we are not aware just how distressing care might be? What can we do? Kate Blake


The Edith Ellen Foundation www.edithellenfoundation.org

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