Complaints about adult care falling

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GIVING an unauthorised flu jab, not reporting accidents and poor standards of care are just some of the grievances Wigan Council has handled about its adult social care homes.

The authority received four complaints last year about the treatment of relatives in nursing or care accommodation. One related to the quality of care from a nursing home where a full investigation was undertaken. But only one of the matters was proved, with four allegations reaching no conclusions and the remaining five were not upheld.

The complaint was sent to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO). Another allegation related to the standard of accommodation. Four of the issues were upheld, two disregarded and one was partially proved. The home provided an apology with details of a change of care plan.

Another family raised concerns about their grandfather’s accommodation but the complaint was not endorsed.

The final grievance was from a woman whose husband had been given a flu vaccine despite informing staff that he should not have had one. However, this was then referred to the GP surgery, who administered the vaccine even after the care home had passed on their wishes.

The number of complaints has gone down each year, from seven in 2011, to six in 2012 and five in 2013.

One of the matters raised in 2013 was not reporting an incident relating to medication to managers and there was an allegation of a carer lying about reporting the matter to the manager. One part of the issue was substantiated, but the other element was not. The home issued an apology.

There was also a full investigation after relatives removed a loved one from a care home alleging there were serious flaws in the standard of care over 12 months. Two of the issues were substantiated with one matter being inconclusive. A report was sent to the Care Quality Commission, with a review of one-to-one care and unannounced visits were made to the home.

There was also complaints that the consultation and assessment protocols were not followed in closing a care home down.

Under Data Protection rules, the council was unable to name the homes, as it may identify third parties involved.

Joanne Willmott, assistant director of provider management and market development at Wigan Council, said: “One complaint is one too many. We are passionately committed to excellent quality and high standards from all services and when someone does not think that level is met we take those comments very seriously. In the few cases where issues have been identified we ensure that things are put right and work such as staff retraining is carried out to make sure that lessons are learnt and the same issues do not occur again.”