Tuesday, October 18, 2011

10 Basic Questions for Care-Giving Facilities

Beezy Marsh's story in the Daily Mail deals with new guidelines formulated by Great Britain's Nursing and Midwifery Council -- guidelines the Council hopes to have circulated in hospitals and care centers throughout the country.

And given the horrid reports coming out of these places about inefficient (and even inhumane) care, any help is welcome.

The guidelines are reflected in the questions listed in the chart shown here. They are questions to be asked by patients (or family members) in which the correct answer is assumed. Even if the correct answer has been too often ignored.

I post them in this blog because they are excellent questions to be asked of any care-giving facility, including those in the United States.

One of the points Marsh brings out in the story is how oversight of these facilities needs to be stringent and continuous. And that oversight has to be provided by officials at the top who freely use their authority to insure quality care.

Why? 1) The tendency of many care-giving businesses is to put profits over people. Therefore, standards must not only be higher than what the business owners themselves might create; they must be strictly enforced.

And 2) The residents are in great need of a powerful advocate. For even though less than half the British public believe elderly people are being treated properly, "only 55 per cent said they would complain to a nursing manager if they or their relatives felt they were getting poor treatment. The research, commissioned by the NMC, found that most people who would not report poor care said they did not want to make a fuss or did not expect compassion from a nurse."

We would all do well to print off a copy of these 10 questions and use them as the 10 points of basic care in our own advocacy efforts for the residents of care facilities.