A report has been produced following a warning from the King’s Fund, which indicates that complaints rose in 2015 by approximately a fifth in relation to domiciliary care (care provided in a person’s own home). 2,969 complaints and inquiries were received by the local government ombudsman (LGO) and a significant rise of 25% were complaints made about home care. Most of these complaints made, involved common themes which included:
- Staff failing to arrive on time
- Staff failing to arrive (turn up)
- Staff failing to stay long enough during a home visit
- Staff cancelling visits at short notice
- Poor record keeping
The report suggests that the pressures which the social care sector are facing at the current time, could be indicative of the increase in the number of complaints being made. Financial cuts and overstretched services, coupled with poor recruitment and retention of staff, mean that complaints imply that the quality of care being delivered in a person’s home, could be falling below the expected minimum standards. These would include the minimum standards associated with the maintaining of privacy and dignity, respect for individual preferences, needs and wishes, promotion of independence, effective care planning and the delivery of person-centred care.
Consistency of care being provided is essential to any person who relies on care service provision in their own home and can often mean the difference in having a good quality of life. Inadequate home care can lead to a person losing the support they require in maintaining their independence and managing simple day-to-day tasks such as washing and dressing themselves. Ultimately this loss of independence could lead to further stretch on social care services and the person (especially older people), becoming more vulnerable and suffering in silence.