Legal Questions and Answers

I have a relative who is a permanent resident in a nursing care home, unfortunately one that ‘Requires Improvement’ in every category of care, safety and management according to the CQC Inspectors.

I have a relative who is a permanent resident in a nursing care home, unfortunately one that ‘Requires Improvement’ in every category of care, safety and management according to the CQC Inspectors.
My relative is entirely in control of his mental faculties, but has paraplegia from the waist down, so that he needs 24hour care and support. He has for many months had a son visiting him on a daily basis to provide essential care and assistance that was not being provided by his care home because of ‘shortage of staff’.
Now because of UK lockdown, his son has been stopped from visiting him and my relative has been told that due to the current situation and ‘staff shortages’, he can no longer be helped out of bed and allowed to move around the care home, in fact he has been told that he cannot be moved out of his bed and placed into a wheelchair.
So my relative has been 1) denied all visitors (in particular his main carer from outside the care home), 2) told he cannot leave the care home, 3) told he cannot leave the confinement of his room and 4) that he cannot be helped out of bed into either his wheelchair or his electric chair.
He lives on the ground floor of the care home in a room that has a door leading to the outside of the building. He is not even allowed to have the door open and to sit outside in the fresh air.
Is this legally acceptable? Is there anything that can be done?
He is now bedbound because care home staff won’t allow him to sit in a chair. As a result both his mental and physical wellbeing are being negatively affected by these measures, even more so than previously.
An interesting point is that not all of the staff who attend to him during the day/night wear PPE (posing a potential health risk to my relative), so these measures cannot be put down to protecting other residents.
Also, staff do have to come in to place my relative onto a commode periodically, though not nearly as often as he needs which is why his son was having to come in on a daily basis (several times a day) as a carer to perform that function. The situation now is that my relative is facing having more of his basic health needs neglected. What can be done to help him?
Answers:
1-This is bordering on neglect and is a safeguarding issue. I would contact the CQC for further advice.
2-That is neglect. He shouldn’t be laying in bed all day. The care staff should move him into a chair, current situation or not they’ve stil a duty of care to all the residents. When I’ve worked in care homes would always encourage people to get out of bed like you say isnt good mentally or physically
3-Call your local County council and ask for the Adult Safeguarding duty desk and tell them what you have said here.
4-Contact Cqc. That’s not OK!
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