Taking on the care system and winning through for others -When I moved from Derby back in February of this year to a nursing home in Sheffield I never imagined for one minute the journey those seven months would take me on. A journey that has drastically changed the way I view the world and my part in it.
I never thought I would have to challenge the care ( or the lack of ) that I was receiving, and that I saw other more vulnerable residents receive too. Over a period of seven months I documented my lack of care on this website. I gave example after example of how I was been treated by the staff. Issues around basic personal care like regular incontinence pad changes became a major issue. The lack of any understanding of empathy around mental health problems meant that I was mainly seen as “Tina who is argumentative” rather than someone who just wanted to be listened to and treated with kindness and respect.
Challenging the care received
By the beginning of May 2023, my friends were becoming aware of some of the issues I was dealing with on a daily basis. Indeed, they made their own formal complaint to the group that owned the home I was in. Emotionally I was left feeling that who would believe the word of someone with a mental health problem against the word of managers? What I didn’t bank on was the power of the written word. As I said earlier I was recording incidents down on this website. As well as writing it down here I was also emailing concerns and incidents to the management team. I was basically keeping a written record of incidents as they occurred.
The Care Quality Commission visit
August 2023 – it was agreed by my social work team in Derby that they would look for another placement for me. However, I knew that whilst I would eventually be moving on I would be leaving other more vulnerable residents behind in the same situation I was so desperate to escape from. So I decided to take my concerns and evidence directly to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Making that phone call was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It was my word against the home. I made the phone call on a Thursday morning and by the following Wednesday afternoon, the CQC were at the home doing an unannounced visit.
A very fast-paced two months
After months of very slow progress. Where I had to constantly remind myself that the truth of my situation would eventually be heard, things have moved on at a very fast pace for me personally.
Shortly after that visit from the CQC, I was admitted to the general hospital. I’m now seven weeks of being impatient. I became seriously ill with hospital-acquired pneumonia. I was given a 50/50 chance of pulling through. As someone who has spent all of my life trying to “end it” the concept that I came so close to not being around anymore has totally messed up my head. I’m not scared of dying. It would be a blessed relief actually. It’s the fact that once again my body decided to fight against my mind and won! My whole system had the perfect excuse to just quietly let go. I’m left feeling confused and angry and with loads more 💩 to deal with.
So where are you God in a world of injustice?
My once rock-solid faith in God has taken a real battering over recent years. There is so much suffering in the world. So much injustice. I don’t doubt for one minute that Jesus walked the earth. Evidence points to all of that to be true. However, how do you reconcile a loving God to those innocent people caught up in the current war? Or the innocent child abused and even killed at the hands of the people they should feel safe and loved by the most Or the older person unable to keep warm or feed themselves.
And my own way forward, Do I have one ?
A decision was made to not return me to the nursing home in Sheffield. So I’m currently waiting for a new placement. Where that will be and when I don’t know fully. As promised the CQC sent me an email confirmation when they had published the findings of their recent unannounced visit to the home. It doesn’t make easy reading. While it confirms my own experience of my life in the home, I’m not left feeling “ I told you so” but rather if that was my experience of living there how much harder it must be for those residents who can’t communicate so well. You can read the full Care Quality Comission report.
Thanks for reading. Have a great day everyone 🌈