Mum, 92, forced to wait 17 hours for treatment

Echo: Upset – Shirley Roome holds up a picture of her mum who suffered injuries after falling from her bed at Beech House care home Upset – Shirley Roome holds up a picture of her mum who suffered injuries after falling from her bed at Beech House care home

A FRAIL 92-year-old was left waiting 17 hours for medical treatment after she fell out of her care home bed, claims her daughter.

MaryLench has not returned to Beech House, in Brownlow Bend, Basildon, since she was admitted to Basildon Hospital after the accident two months ago.

Daughter Shirley Roome, who is a nurse at Basildon Hospital, has raised concerns about the level of care her mum received at Beech House – a Christian care home.

She visited her mum on the morning of December 5 and demanded staff phoned an ambulance after she discovered Mrs Lench with facial injuries – 17 hours after her fall.

She had a black eye and unexplained bruises were discovered on her body, including one at the top of her arm. Mrs Roome, of Broomfields, Pitsea, said: “You can’t afford to make mistakes when you are working with elderly people.

“The care is normally good from the morning until about 2pm, but after that there are fewer staff and they just don’t seem to be caring enough.”

On a previous occasion Mrs Roome found her mum wearing a bra two sizes too small, which belonged to another resident.

She also learnt her mum, who moved into 28-bed Beech House two years ago, had been left unattended when using a commode in her room.

Mrs Roome confronted staff at Beech House, who, she said, told her “mistakes do happen”.

Following her fall, Mrs Lench has been unable to walk or feed herself.

She is now undergoing rehabilitation at Brentwood Community Hospital while her daughter finds alternative care home accommodation.

Mrs Roome said: “Before mum had her fall she could walk with a frame, but now she is too frail.

I hope, with some rehabilitation, we can get her back on track.

“There is no way I am sending her back to Beech House and I’m a bit concerned about sending her to another care home.

“I can’t send her somewhere I don’t feel comfortable.”

The manager at Beech House says staff there did all they could to help Mrs Lench.

Michael Olaniyan insisted staff immediately contacted a GP after noticing Mrs Lench’s black eye on the morning of December 5, but until then she was conscious and stable following her fall.

He also said hourly observations were carried out through the night. It was also revealed the carer who dressed Mrs Lench in the incorrect bra was given a verbal warning and further training to ensure the incident was not repeated.

He said Beech House used “body maps” to record injuries, and the bruise on her arm was highlighted by staff as unexplained red marks.

Mr Olaniyan said: “Beech House successfully cared for Mrs Lench, who was a very frail elderly person, for two years.

“As we do with all our residents, we continually worked in partnership with the family, friends and advocates to ensure we provided person-centred care.

We addressed any concerns or issued raised for the benefit of the loved ones.We have all the written evidence and notes regarding the incidents and the meetings had with the family.

“We feel we have endeavoured to work closely with members of the family, who themselves have conflicting views about the care of Mrs Lench.

“They are a very caring family.

However, we are disappointed Mrs Roome made such observations, as we feel from the bottom of our hearts that we have done our very best to care for the holistic needs of Mrs Lench.

Comments (16)

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11:56am Sun 9 Feb 14

Kim Gandy says...

“The care is normally good from the morning until about 2pm, but after that there are fewer staff and they just don’t seem to be caring enough.”

And therein lies the problem. Lack of staff. I worked in a home that had 84 residents and only five staff with one in charge between 10pm and 7am. And if somebody had to go to hospital, a staff member had to accompany them so there would only be four carers overseeing 84. Absolutely preposterous.

Quite often it's not a matter of not being caring enough, but I have been on duty at the two most crucial times of the day, getting up time and bed time. Carers have to abide also by residents' wishes. Some choose to remain in bed and that has to be respected. However, sometimes that has to be balanced with whether they pose a danger to themselves by remaining in bad, particularly if they have urgent toilet needs. Or are uncomfortable.

Others are awaiting personal care and with a very small number of staff to go round are often kept waiting, alone in their rooms. This is not the fault of the staff rather the fault of the management for not employing enough of them. In my experience, they are more concerned with their shareholders and profit than care. I am speaking from personal experience and not with regard to this particular care home upon which I cannot comment.

As for having a bra two sizes too small, that should not happen. However, there may have been a mix up in the laundry in which case staff may have made a wrong choice in a rush. All sorts of things happen in care homes at these crucial times of day, usually because staff can hear other residents crying out for help and often have to rush one to get to another.

This should never happen either. It puts staff in a dilemma and when I was managing a team, I'd often find staff in tears afterwards because of the stress. It didn't do my stress levels much good either. Stressed carers are not good carers, no matter how diligent, caring and hard working they are.

But when you are extremely short staffed and trying to cope with several residents' needs at once, it can be absolute hell.

Some residents need two carers to help them out of bed by means of a hoist or other equipment. This is time consuming and if the resident is particularly delicate or confused, it can take time and patience.

In my opinion, most abuse in care homes is institutional and comes from ridiculously low staffing levels and often lack of equipment or resources too.

I have often turned up for work only to find there are no gloves.. these are essential when giving personal care to residents. And having to go out to get more while your residents are waiting is absolutely unacceptable.

I remember once being told we were using too many! How the hell can that happen? Sometimes in one session of personal care a carer can go through more than one pair, for hygiene reasons. There should be no such thing as using too many gloves. What do management think we wear them for? A fashion accessory?

All care staff have to do bodymapping of injuries which are often caused by knocks and falls. Elderly people have very thin skin which is very prone to bruising. I knew of one lady who used to grip herself and leave her own finger imprints on her arms. And elderly people can have horrific looking injuries after a fall. Their skin is often like paper and very delicate and can even tear like paper. Staff have to document every single mark and often will find these bruises and can offer no explanation for them. It's very distressing. Also injuries are often caused by bed bars and other objects near where the resident is laying.

Also residents can often attack other residents, as I have seen. I have personally been in a situation where I was left alone with no other colleagues around and I had to intervene in an incident where one resident was going to use a walking frame to attack another. I ended up being the injured party myself. As we are not allowed to restrain residents in any way, I had to try my best to reason and calm the situation. There were no colleagues around at the time to come to the aid of the other residents and myself - we were too short staffed.

Other carers can tell similar horror stories. It is equally distressing for carers who just want to provide a decent level of person centred care. One huge bugbear of most carers is they don't get enough one to one time with residents, playing games with them, or just chatting. This can have hugely calming effects on confused elderly people. Just singing with them or reciting poetry can make them feel better.

The care system is in bad need of an overhaul and the understaffing problem looked at as a matter of urgent priority, or, as the number of people in care homes increases, these kinds of cases will continue to occur.

I hope Mrs Roome finds a satisfactory solution to this problem and that her mum finds somewhere she feels safe.
“The care is normally good from the morning until about 2pm, but after that there are fewer staff and they just don’t seem to be caring enough.” And therein lies the problem. Lack of staff. I worked in a home that had 84 residents and only five staff with one in charge between 10pm and 7am. And if somebody had to go to hospital, a staff member had to accompany them so there would only be four carers overseeing 84. Absolutely preposterous. Quite often it's not a matter of not being caring enough, but I have been on duty at the two most crucial times of the day, getting up time and bed time. Carers have to abide also by residents' wishes. Some choose to remain in bed and that has to be respected. However, sometimes that has to be balanced with whether they pose a danger to themselves by remaining in bad, particularly if they have urgent toilet needs. Or are uncomfortable. Others are awaiting personal care and with a very small number of staff to go round are often kept waiting, alone in their rooms. This is not the fault of the staff rather the fault of the management for not employing enough of them. In my experience, they are more concerned with their shareholders and profit than care. I am speaking from personal experience and not with regard to this particular care home upon which I cannot comment. As for having a bra two sizes too small, that should not happen. However, there may have been a mix up in the laundry in which case staff may have made a wrong choice in a rush. All sorts of things happen in care homes at these crucial times of day, usually because staff can hear other residents crying out for help and often have to rush one to get to another. This should never happen either. It puts staff in a dilemma and when I was managing a team, I'd often find staff in tears afterwards because of the stress. It didn't do my stress levels much good either. Stressed carers are not good carers, no matter how diligent, caring and hard working they are. But when you are extremely short staffed and trying to cope with several residents' needs at once, it can be absolute hell. Some residents need two carers to help them out of bed by means of a hoist or other equipment. This is time consuming and if the resident is particularly delicate or confused, it can take time and patience. In my opinion, most abuse in care homes is institutional and comes from ridiculously low staffing levels and often lack of equipment or resources too. I have often turned up for work only to find there are no gloves.. these are essential when giving personal care to residents. And having to go out to get more while your residents are waiting is absolutely unacceptable. I remember once being told we were using too many! How the hell can that happen? Sometimes in one session of personal care a carer can go through more than one pair, for hygiene reasons. There should be no such thing as using too many gloves. What do management think we wear them for? A fashion accessory? All care staff have to do bodymapping of injuries which are often caused by knocks and falls. Elderly people have very thin skin which is very prone to bruising. I knew of one lady who used to grip herself and leave her own finger imprints on her arms. And elderly people can have horrific looking injuries after a fall. Their skin is often like paper and very delicate and can even tear like paper. Staff have to document every single mark and often will find these bruises and can offer no explanation for them. It's very distressing. Also injuries are often caused by bed bars and other objects near where the resident is laying. Also residents can often attack other residents, as I have seen. I have personally been in a situation where I was left alone with no other colleagues around and I had to intervene in an incident where one resident was going to use a walking frame to attack another. I ended up being the injured party myself. As we are not allowed to restrain residents in any way, I had to try my best to reason and calm the situation. There were no colleagues around at the time to come to the aid of the other residents and myself - we were too short staffed. Other carers can tell similar horror stories. It is equally distressing for carers who just want to provide a decent level of person centred care. One huge bugbear of most carers is they don't get enough one to one time with residents, playing games with them, or just chatting. This can have hugely calming effects on confused elderly people. Just singing with them or reciting poetry can make them feel better. The care system is in bad need of an overhaul and the understaffing problem looked at as a matter of urgent priority, or, as the number of people in care homes increases, these kinds of cases will continue to occur. I hope Mrs Roome finds a satisfactory solution to this problem and that her mum finds somewhere she feels safe. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 14

1:09pm Sun 9 Feb 14

essex bad boy says...

Put in a nit shell, we need more like you but the funds of the fat cats keep this from happening, as a service user myself I have seen with my own eyes how some carers are when they are meant to be caring for the user, like using phones to text when meant to be watching the user cook, the user gets hurt then the carer moans "YOU SHOULD BE MORE CAREFUL" that is the job of the carer to WATCH and CARE, tbh its all about how much money they can charge and how little they pay the carers, in the end its only money, a kind heart and a gentle thought is far more comforting than a foul mouth or actions of a carer. Congrats on a great post Kim xx
Put in a nit shell, we need more like you but the funds of the fat cats keep this from happening, as a service user myself I have seen with my own eyes how some carers are when they are meant to be caring for the user, like using phones to text when meant to be watching the user cook, the user gets hurt then the carer moans "YOU SHOULD BE MORE CAREFUL" that is the job of the carer to WATCH and CARE, tbh its all about how much money they can charge and how little they pay the carers, in the end its only money, a kind heart and a gentle thought is far more comforting than a foul mouth or actions of a carer. Congrats on a great post Kim xx essex bad boy
  • Score: -2

1:26pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Howard Cháse says...

Yet another Don't Care Home exposed
Yet another Don't Care Home exposed Howard Cháse
  • Score: 3

3:08pm Sun 9 Feb 14

emcee says...

For the care the elderly get in some of these homes the care fee is a rip-off.
There is a reason why staffing levels are at the minimum legal requirement and why staff are paid a pittance. Clue: I have never heard of a care home owner who is not rolling in money.
For the care the elderly get in some of these homes the care fee is a rip-off. There is a reason why staffing levels are at the minimum legal requirement and why staff are paid a pittance. Clue: I have never heard of a care home owner who is not rolling in money. emcee
  • Score: 7

3:46pm Sun 9 Feb 14

jolllyboy says...

if thats their best it is not good enough. Would they leave their relatives like that.
if thats their best it is not good enough. Would they leave their relatives like that. jolllyboy
  • Score: 1

4:34pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Mikkel1 says...

FAR Too many chiefs and FAR Too few Indians springs to mind. With the appalling fees charged, they CAN afford to employ more staff. Further, stop ALL staff from using a mobile when working. If they are seriously needed by somebody outside, let them phone the home phone.

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.
FAR Too many chiefs and FAR Too few Indians springs to mind. With the appalling fees charged, they CAN afford to employ more staff. Further, stop ALL staff from using a mobile when working. If they are seriously needed by somebody outside, let them phone the home phone. PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE. Mikkel1
  • Score: 2

7:08pm Sun 9 Feb 14

runwellian says...

Sounds like a case the CQC need to know about!

CQC
Sounds like a case the CQC need to know about! CQC runwellian
  • Score: 1

9:08pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Criminal & Proud says...

If she's that concerned about her mum, why don't she just let her mum move in with her. Care homes are a rip off, stink of pi55 and crap, and full of nutters on deaths door. Id rather be in prison i think. You got to be nearly as mad as the old people that live there to work there in the first place.
If she's that concerned about her mum, why don't she just let her mum move in with her. Care homes are a rip off, stink of pi55 and crap, and full of nutters on deaths door. Id rather be in prison i think. You got to be nearly as mad as the old people that live there to work there in the first place. Criminal & Proud
  • Score: -12

11:23pm Sun 9 Feb 14

whataday says...

Hope the lady in question is given good care in the future wherever she goes to live.
Unfortunately this type of thing has one root cause - privatisation
Private companies are there to make money end of story. Proper nursing care takes time and is dependent on each individual patient - that means employing enough staff to do it properly which costs money, which in turn lowers profit. Sadly there's the problem
Hope the lady in question is given good care in the future wherever she goes to live. Unfortunately this type of thing has one root cause - privatisation Private companies are there to make money end of story. Proper nursing care takes time and is dependent on each individual patient - that means employing enough staff to do it properly which costs money, which in turn lowers profit. Sadly there's the problem whataday
  • Score: 1

10:56am Mon 10 Feb 14

InTheKnowOk says...

Criminal & Proud wrote:
If she's that concerned about her mum, why don't she just let her mum move in with her. Care homes are a rip off, stink of pi55 and crap, and full of nutters on deaths door. Id rather be in prison i think. You got to be nearly as mad as the old people that live there to work there in the first place.
Better hope you don't spend your final days in one of them then because that's something none of us know, how we are going to end up ...
[quote][p][bold]Criminal & Proud[/bold] wrote: If she's that concerned about her mum, why don't she just let her mum move in with her. Care homes are a rip off, stink of pi55 and crap, and full of nutters on deaths door. Id rather be in prison i think. You got to be nearly as mad as the old people that live there to work there in the first place.[/p][/quote]Better hope you don't spend your final days in one of them then because that's something none of us know, how we are going to end up ... InTheKnowOk
  • Score: -1

12:41pm Mon 10 Feb 14

nigella says...

We have a loved one in a Christian Care Home and our personal view is from Management and Staff the quality of care shown, both physical and mental welfare, is EXCEPTIONAL.
We have a loved one in a Christian Care Home and our personal view is from Management and Staff the quality of care shown, both physical and mental welfare, is EXCEPTIONAL. nigella
  • Score: 6

1:59pm Mon 10 Feb 14

LindaJF says...

We have a loved one also in a Christian care home, they have been every good. If l find something l am not happy with l have talked it over with the staff and it has got put right. More than happy with the care.
We have a loved one also in a Christian care home, they have been every good. If l find something l am not happy with l have talked it over with the staff and it has got put right. More than happy with the care. LindaJF
  • Score: 9

5:09pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Sammthemann says...

Well my mum was cared for at beech house for a very long time and I have nothing but praise for them carers they are an amazing bunch of decent human beings . My mum and other residents who were also there seamed very happy (and I was there most days ) I did never have any problems I can honestly say . These families who don't visit often to see there relatives very often will always moan about something it's guilt they put them in homes and visit when they ain't so busy !
I've seen it day in day out when my mum was there the care from Christian care homes is top let me tell you .
I can see where mistakes are made with regards to clothing getting mixed up labels fade and come off deal with it love should be there to check your mums clothing labels more often !
Well my mum was cared for at beech house for a very long time and I have nothing but praise for them carers they are an amazing bunch of decent human beings . My mum and other residents who were also there seamed very happy (and I was there most days ) I did never have any problems I can honestly say . These families who don't visit often to see there relatives very often will always moan about something it's guilt they put them in homes and visit when they ain't so busy ! I've seen it day in day out when my mum was there the care from Christian care homes is top let me tell you . I can see where mistakes are made with regards to clothing getting mixed up labels fade and come off deal with it love should be there to check your mums clothing labels more often ! Sammthemann
  • Score: 7

5:40pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Criminal & Proud says...

InTheKnowOk wrote:
Criminal & Proud wrote:
If she's that concerned about her mum, why don't she just let her mum move in with her. Care homes are a rip off, stink of pi55 and crap, and full of nutters on deaths door. Id rather be in prison i think. You got to be nearly as mad as the old people that live there to work there in the first place.
Better hope you don't spend your final days in one of them then because that's something none of us know, how we are going to end up ...
I'd rather die I think then be put in one of them places. The smell is appalling, the food is garbage, and the carers couldn't give a toss about the old folk there.
[quote][p][bold]InTheKnowOk[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Criminal & Proud[/bold] wrote: If she's that concerned about her mum, why don't she just let her mum move in with her. Care homes are a rip off, stink of pi55 and crap, and full of nutters on deaths door. Id rather be in prison i think. You got to be nearly as mad as the old people that live there to work there in the first place.[/p][/quote]Better hope you don't spend your final days in one of them then because that's something none of us know, how we are going to end up ...[/p][/quote]I'd rather die I think then be put in one of them places. The smell is appalling, the food is garbage, and the carers couldn't give a toss about the old folk there. Criminal & Proud
  • Score: -4

7:06pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Stumpy'sGirl says...

My mother also lives in a Christian Care home, and the care she receives is excellent. The staff are kind and considerate and take the time to talk to the residents as they attend to their needs. Our family are informed and involved in every aspect of my Mum's care. The food is good and the general atmosphere is warm and loving.(And it does not smell!!!} Unfortunately there are some poor care homes, but Christian Care homes definitely do not fall into that category. My Mum feels happy and safe now and says moving there was the best decision she could have made.
My mother also lives in a Christian Care home, and the care she receives is excellent. The staff are kind and considerate and take the time to talk to the residents as they attend to their needs. Our family are informed and involved in every aspect of my Mum's care. The food is good and the general atmosphere is warm and loving.(And it does not smell!!!} Unfortunately there are some poor care homes, but Christian Care homes definitely do not fall into that category. My Mum feels happy and safe now and says moving there was the best decision she could have made. Stumpy'sGirl
  • Score: 5

7:21pm Mon 10 Feb 14

MaggieV says...

My mum is a resident at Beech House and if there has ever been an incident I have been informed straight away. The staff there are caring and patient and I have nothing but praise for the job they do. They have an open door policy and I can't say that I have ever seen it understaffed. If I have any concerns it isn't any trouble to talk to somebody and any problems have been sorted out quickly. I am confident that she receives good care and respect from all of those who work there, and I am grateful to them for the work they do under what can be very challenging circumstances.
My mum is a resident at Beech House and if there has ever been an incident I have been informed straight away. The staff there are caring and patient and I have nothing but praise for the job they do. They have an open door policy and I can't say that I have ever seen it understaffed. If I have any concerns it isn't any trouble to talk to somebody and any problems have been sorted out quickly. I am confident that she receives good care and respect from all of those who work there, and I am grateful to them for the work they do under what can be very challenging circumstances. MaggieV
  • Score: 7

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