Okay, I admit it, when it comes to adverse reporting on care homes - I am definitely hypersensitive, defensive and probably many more ' 'ives' than I can bring to mind at this moment in time.
I know that in the big bad world out there, there are indeed, many bad care homes - as, as is, dire care in hospital settings (I acknowledge some of the reasons - dangerous staffing levels, etc), but nevertheless, bad care exists there too. There are uncaring doctors both in hospitals and GP practices. But, whatever the wrongs outside care homes - it doesn't make bad care in care homes right!
The reason for this post - stuff I read in Pulse today. It was "Call to reduce 'counter-productive' cardiovascular drug prescribing in the over-80s" Video to watch at the bottom of this (Pulse) page too. I have no problem with this and have also considered the chemical cocktails that the elderly receive. I know I am not a doctor and therefore readily admit, I don't know what the hell I am talking about! However, it appears to me, that even though drug A does not interact with drug B, or drug F does not interact with drug H (or even if it does - Flossy needs both of them anyway) - does a combination of A, D and E unknowingly interact with drug G?
Is polypharmacy a GP and/or hospital doc initiated (possibly fatal in the elderly - or anyone?) chemical cosh, that falls outside the care home initiated (in your dreams) chemical cosh of antipsychotics?
Nevertheless, I digress! A bullet point in the aforementioned "Call to...." in 'Problems with care home prescribing' was "On any one day 7 out of 10 patients experienced at least one medication error" - Ooh, dear me(!), this sent the defensive hackles into overdrive! I am not brilliant at stats, but easily worked out, that on an average day/night; I routinely gave (on my shift), 30% of my lovely residents, the wrong meds! Am I thick!? Would I not know?
Yes, on one (known) occasion, I did give a resident somebody else's meds (distracted by World War Three, for care home residents are not continually semi-comatose by home inspired antipsychotics!) - but I instinctively knew that I had! I immediately consulted the BNF - thought "Oh My God" (possible bad drug interactions) and contacted the local A & E - for I would rather lose my job, than have somebodies death on my hands. Given instructions on observations and luckily, everything was tickety-boo!
I have digressed again! Further research at NHS Choices gave a wider view! I am relieved! It is not only care home staff, but pharmacists, GPs et al that produce the 7 out of 10 figures. But will the general public see this? No - they will not! They will just see that care homes are dangerous places (and 'Yes', some of them are) and they will be so afraid.
I do remember Copperfield writing a post on this issue, earlier this year - but I cannot find it. Yet again, Copperfield's understanding of this situation earned my respect. I don't care that, at times, Copperfield alludes to 'granny'stackers' for he/she/they are in touch with the real world.
In my experience, many GPs enter homes with a negative view - and the vicious circle continues - mistrust abounds. The patient (or residents) interests are paramount - and we must remember this For if not, we are doing the most vulnerable a great disservice.