Friday 8 November 2013

Book review – Beyond my Control

why the health and social care system need not have failed my mother
by Suzan Collins

For those concerned about the care and welfare of an older loved one, or indeed older people in general, this book is at times, a very personal and extremely emotional read.

From my own perspective...

Having, in 2012, experienced some of the faults and failures, of health and social care services in England - involving my own Mother’s wrongful pre-admission diagnosis, three week stay, and difficult discharge from our local hospital, I was particularly interested to read about someone else’s experiences. Fortunately, my Mother returned home, and I became her full-time carer. Sometimes, this isn’t always the case...

Suzan’s story...

Suzan takes us through her, and her family’s, personal, very private, often difficult, and sometimes extremely emotionally charged journey - a journey experienced by them and their Mother, thanks to an incident at their Mother’s care home, that resulted in a hospital admission, for both a broken ankle and fractured femur.

What happened during the next few months - is truly shocking...

Failures by the care home and its staff, in duty of care, and the failure to record and report the incident, along with conflicting accounts of what actually happened to cause such injuries, remain unresolved.

Failures by the hospital, not only in their duty of care, but dignity, respect, record keeping, the administration of controlled medicines, and the attitude of staff towards both patients and family members, is frightening.

During this incredibly difficult time, they had to deal with the unexpected death of a close family member, and long journeys, by car or train, from the east coast to the west coast, in order to visit their increasingly ill Mother.

Suzan has 33 years experience in both health and social care, but none of this would be of any help to her Mother - time after time the family’s requests were either ignored, or not acted upon. Nothing they did would help.

My feelings...

Being a carer for my Mother, I have to admit, that at times, I was in tears as I read about the unfolding events and crises that occurred during the weeks and months, of Suzan’s Mother’s stay in hospital. It was a journey I could very definitely relate to. Some of it, a journey I have yet to make. A journey, I sincerely hope, will not be as difficult and distressing, as the one experienced by Suzan and her family.

Suzan’s mission...

Suzan now has a mission to try to improve health and social care for older people. To ensure that that care, is of the required standard, that staff are able to voice their concerns without redress, and that the current re-active system to address issues in health and social care services, becomes pro-active. In the hope that what happened to her Mother, will never happen again. A mission for which, being an unpaid family carer, I would give my wholehearted support.

For everyone interested in, or concerned about, the care of an older person, within health and social care services, not only in this country, but across the developed world, and beyond, this is - a must read!

Suzan Collins is a professional trainer and consultant in health and social care, working across the country. She assess staff performance in Health, Social Care and Management, delivers training, carries out pre-inspection (Care Quality Commission) compliance checks and advises on policies and procedures on subjects that include 'safeguarding' vulnerable people from harm and abuse. Suzan campaigns for better standards of health and social care in care/nursing homes, at home and in hospitals. She also campaigns for better support for staff providing this care. In addition, she is author of six, internationally selling open-learning workbooks, one of which is on Safeguarding Adults.

1 comment:

  1. I have now read the book and reviewed it myself -