Friday, 14 June 2013

Mosaic story: some pieces missing.

Mosaic Community Care is a company that has been suspended today by the UK Home Care Association following yesterday's publication of CCTV footage by the BBC. The lady's grandson had installed two CCTV cameras in order to "monitor her movements and to provide help should she fall when she was home alone". If that is the case then this would have involved regular observation of the footage.

I watched those three clips on yesterday's news and saw a carer touch food to check its temperature. This is what a mother may do for their child but of course it is not acceptable in domiciliary care to offer food that has been touched by a carer. Well life isn't quite that simple because there are many types of food that would need to be touched by the carer in order to prepare them.

We also saw the lady, Mrs Price, in bed complaining and trying to make a phone call to make that complaint. She failed. I presume that she knew about the CCTV cameras so in a sense she had already made her complaint. One view is that if she knew about the cameras then she didn't need to phone anyone. On the other hand if she did not know about the cameras then this could be deemed as abuse by her relatives. She was not able to contact anyone.

Much was made of the fact that Mrs Price had been in bed for "nearly thirteen hours as her carer was nearly one hour late" without anyone apparently noticing the obvious fact that even if the carer had been bang on time, the woman would still have been in bed for twelve whole hours. There is a big question mark over the amount of care that had been arranged when twelve hours is acceptable and thirteen isn't, though we could do with more details. What happened when the carers failed to arrive?

Where was the grandson during the whole of this nearly thirteen hours? If the cameras were installed so he could respond in the case of any problems, why did he not respond when there was a problem? Were the carers, who were apparently only contracted to turn up briefly at fairly long intervals, the only people that Mrs. Price had any contact with? When we say her dissatisfaction at being unable to contact anybody, had she also tried and failed to phone her grandson?

The third clip showed a carer moving an incontinence pad. We were told that the lady had been changed "in full view of the street". There is a simple answer - net curtains, because this means that the lady was in bed at all times "in full view of the street". I am not keen on passersby watching me sleep with my mouth open.

There were not enough facts given to make me have a view about how often and how late the carers were but everyone has been late to work at some point in their life. There were accusations that carers had failed to turn up at all. Again, there was not enough information to let me know how important this was. but if one carer failed to turn up and it was a significant lack in the lady's care then my main concern is that Mosaic " say they were never informed the family had concerns". Why not?

I am usually on the side of the whistleblower, but to get to the stage of blowing a whistle you have to go through normal channels. When Panorama investigated Winterbourne View they exposed violent abuse but complaints had been ignored. When Margaret Haywood was struck off the nursing register (she was later reinstated) for secret filming of abuse, her complaints had been ignored.

I am uneasy about this complaint. Let's hope that the UKHCA investigation does not take too long.

Change the world

P.S. If you look at Mosaic's website you discover that "Mrs Price's care contract was ultimately cancelled by Mosaic following acts of aggression and abuse towards Mosaic staff". How did the BBC miss that in their report?

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