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Case studies

“Mrs S” Family worries about care home

Mrs S was referred following a concern about an incident that took place at the nursing home she was living in. Mrs S has very advanced dementia and is no longer able to communicate. She also has very reduced mobility and needs full assistance with all personal care mobility.

One day Mrs S was found to have fallen out of her electric recliner chair. She needed an overnight stay in hospital and had extensive bruising to her face. Understandably her family were very upset by this and provided her social worker with a number of photographs of the incident to illustrate how traumatic it had been for their mother.

An investigation into the care home revealed inadequate staffing levels in the area where Mrs S lived. It also revealed that staff had left very dependent and confused residents unattended. Further investigations found other areas such as risk assessments at the care home were also very poor.

 The family were involved and understood that we take these issues very seriously. The care home had tried to down play the incident and claimed that the family were intimidating.

However the social worker reported that the family were just concerned at what they perceived as serious neglect. The social worker met with the family to take in all their concerns. Following an investigation at the care home the social worker arranged a meeting with her team manager present to address these issues, inviting the family and the home manager.

This presented a firm and assertive approach towards the home, but without any party feeling outside the process or under attack. This resolved the matter amicably.

A further review was held with the daughter present to ensure that all information had been fed back and the family were satisfied with the outcome. The family felt empowered and involved and Mrs S’s needs remained central to the process throughout.

“Mr K” Alcohol affecting daily life

Mr K is a 53 year old man, who attends the Emergency Department on a regular basis due to accidents and injuries caused by alcohol intoxication. He had numerous referrals to the Substance Misuse team from his family and housing manager due to falls, being vulnerable under the influence of alcohol, risk from assault, being a danger to himself, plus he had been the victim of break-ins to his flat and robbery. In this case Mr K was not being abused by an outsider but his actions were making him extremely vulnerable.

Joint visits were arranged between the alcohol team with his family, housing manager and neighbours with social services.

Mr K was yet again admitted to hospital following an injury he experienced from a fall. He undertook a medication regime in hospital to alleviate alcohol withdrawal symptoms and remained alcohol free. A joint visit was arranged to his flat following his discharge from hospital between the social worker and alcohol team. The risk factors identified prior to admission were greatly reduced. Housing, social services, family and alcohol team agreed to liaise in the future if support was required.