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When the Unacceptable Becomes the Norm. Choosing a Care Home in the 21st Century

  • 2 Comments

’This is a book that should be read by professionals as it has clearly had a severe impact on the author and understanding the impact on families from any kind of care is a vital perspective.’

Title: When the Unacceptable Becomes the Norm. Choosing a Care Home in the 21st Century

Author: Bill Lawrence

Publisher: Matador Books

Reviewer: Lynne Partington, Project Coordinator and Specialist Advisor, The End of Life Partnership, Cheshire

What was it like?

Written from a personal perspective and based on a family’s experience, this book is clearly written from the heart. It makes emotive reading regarding numerous issues and problems related by the author when finding a care home for his mother and the six years that follows. The author depicts many examples from this period of care, but then often applies them to care homes in general, difficult when it is based on one person’s care in a single care home and making it seem unreasonable to many care homes who do provide good care.

What were the highlights?

Throughout the book, there is some useful advice provided based on the authors’ experience, such as accessing information brochures and guides about what to look for. However, the author states that most are published by care homes and the information is therefore slanted or, at worst, used to discourage potential users from identifying key issues. It would have been useful to have also signposted to independent advice such as those provided by Which?, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society and the NHS UK, to name a few.

Strengths and weaknesses:

The author’s mother stayed in the care home in question for six years, from which the reader could assume that there were likely to have also been examples of good care: it would have been helpful to have reflected on what can be considered good provision in care homes to support people to also know what to look for while making these decisions.

Who should read it:

This is a book that should be read by professionals as it has clearly had a severe impact on the author and understanding the impact on families from any kind of care is a vital perspective. I would, however, exercise caution in recommending it to those seeking a care home. This is not because bad practice or poor care should be covered up, but that a more objective and balanced read would be more helpful for those who are facing this real dilemma.

when the unacceptable becomes the norm

when the unacceptable becomes the norm

 

 

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • Re the comment under "Strengths and Weaknesses"

    The reader must NOT assume that there were likely to have also been examples of good care! Bad care homes lose good staff very, very quickly.

    In Greater Manchester my mother was in a diabolical care home for over 2 years. Initially I tried constructive feedback to the home. Then I went to the NHS and Local Authority. Then I took general complaints to the CQC.

    I was persecuted as a citizen whistleblower by I believe the NHS managers using my unstable sister to take me on false allegations to the Court of Protection where fortunately for me the Judge saw through the accusations and prevented me from being pursued via the criminal justice system and possibly being unjustly imprisoned.

    I tried to get my mother out of that home but the authorities had her detained there on a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding Order. News reports told of one woman who took her mother out of a home and got sentenced to 6 months in jail.

    The home owners prompted and supported by senior NHS managers, tried to prevent my contact with my mother. When I involved Greater Manchester Police the home could not provide the details specifying who the Relevant Person's Representative was although a DoLS authorisation legally requires an RPR. GMP were as effective on protecting my elderly vulnerable mother as they were at protecting the young vulnerable Rotherham Girls.

    At the Inquest which I prompted GMP Coroners Police and histopathologist were woefully inadequate. The work done by the Community Psychiatric Nurse and the GP service was astonishingly lamentable.

    It took in all over 3 years and I believe it likely that the Misuse of the Liverpool Care Pathway resulted in her death although her death could have happened earlier in natural and humane circumstances if anyone had bothered to adhere to her Advance Decision which had been supplied to all concerned on numerous occasions.

    So, Ibadette Fetahu, DO NOT PRESUME to know what a reader might assume when clearly your standpoint is prejudiced and lacking in knowledge. That is truly offensive. Even Ben Gummer is quoted as saying the in some areas care is "shockingly poor". It is and pretending otherwise and sweeping severe problems under the carpet is appallingly unhelpful. It was recognised in the House of Lords that most complaints via the 70 or so channels for complaints met with a very unhelpful response.

    Also I would say this book should be read especially by those seeking a care home as the dirty players are very presentable and plausible.

    Both ends of the care spectrum should be viewed in order to make an informed choice.

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  • I apologise immediately and sincerely to Ibadette Fetahu for my error in my comment above where I ascribed the review to her.

    I should have addressed the comment to Lynne Partington.

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