Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Are there really 500 vulnerable elderly people at risk of harm and neglect in Cornwall's residential care homes?

Just had a quick flick through the Care Quality Commission's online publication of inspection reports.  Filter by Cornwall and then search those rated as "requires improvement" and you can see just how many residential care homes have been given exactly the same rating as the Panorama'd Clinton House, St Austell.

I make it 16 homes, with an average of 30 residents each - so around 500 elderly, vulnerable people, just waiting for an undercover reporter with a hidden camera.  I'm happy to list those homes if anyone wants - one is run directly by Cornwall Council, another by its spawned charity Cornwall Care Ltd; the rest are completely private.

The CQC says there are 227 care homes for the elderly in Cornwall, and none is currently rated "inadequate."  But the lesson of the Clinton House case is that a rating of "requires improvement" is, a bit like the CQC itself, inadequate.

I have previously blogged about the risks of a long memory.  Does anyone else remember this speech in the House of Commons, from 1997?  The sound of chickens arriving home?

Friday, 11 November 2016

Coming soon - the new Jerusalem

Much relief at County Hall yesterday over the St Ives planning decision, in which the courts have ruled that councillors acted properly in allowing a ban on new-build second homes.  The implications for local development plans across Cornwall are immense.

Among those sharing the love was Rob Nolan, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Truro and Falmouth (or wherever the Boundary Commissioners decide) who took to BBC Radio Cornwall to denounce the development of green field sites.

Of course, it was only radio - but it sounded remarkably like the same Rob Nolan who chairs Cornwall Council's Strategic Planning Committee, and who recently, and enthusiastically, supported the 236-lodge Camel Creek holiday resort between Wadebridge and St Columb - which is, er, in the open countryside.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Will Trump now come to Tintagel?

Congratulations to John Mappin, the Tintagel hotelier whose bank balance is about to be swelled by his astute punt on the outcome of the United States Presidential election.

Mr Mappin correctly identified a growing "sod the lot of them" attitude among voters, responsible for the Brexit decision in the UK earlier this year and which he believed was also prevalent in the US.

I'm listening to Donald Trump on the radio right now.  He sounds less loony than he did yesterday, saying he now wants to "reach out" to those who didn't vote for him.

We shall see.  For the Democrats, the lesson is clear.  They should have gone with Bernie Sanders.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Cornwall's care crisis

Last night's news about the Clinton nursing home at St Austell, closed because of as-yet-unspecified "safeguarding" issues, throws sharply into focus the crisis caused by an ageing population and an underfunded service.  For "underfunded" I could just as easily have written "uncaring" - it is all about priorities.

The Clinton home is part of the Morleigh group and can take up to 46 residents.  Many have dementia.
In February, the Care Quality Commission made an unannounced inspection, found several things wrong, and told the management to pull their socks up.  You can read that report here. 

Such was the inspectors' concern - scalding risks, incontinence odours, residents forced to share flannels, inadequate respect for dignity etc - that they went back a few weeks later.  Things appear to have gone downhill from there.  Perhaps the real question is why it took nine months before anyone thought it was a good idea to move the residents somewhere else.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Never a good idea for a politician to duck a straight question

And just for the record, the correct answer for any leader of the Opposition, when asked if he/she wants a general election, is always "yes."