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 Care Campaign For The Vulnerable

Care Campaign for the Vulnerable is learning of the pressures faced by conscientious led Care Providers striving to offer a caring and safe environment to both service users and staff. Safety monitoring is proving to be a invaluable care assist tool - bringing a more open and transparent culture into care homes as well as saving valuable resources within the care home sector and the NHS

Case Studies

A family contact CCFTV to warn of 'Key Safe Boxes'

Added on 24th June 2020

A family sent Care Campaign for the Vulnerable photos showing upsetting injuries their late mother suffered when attacked in her own home after her key safe box was allegedly broken into and the intruder gained entry to their mother's home. The family want us to highlight the dangers to key safe boxes being displayed in public view which indicates a vulnerable person living there and placing them at risk. CCFTV has looked over extensive documentation and e mails sent by the family regarding their complaint and this is the family's account of events.

A daughter told us a distressing account to how their elderly mother was attacked in her own home after returning from a shopping trip. The key safe box outside her residence had been ripped from the outside wall and unbeknown to her when she walked into her home a intruder was caught ransaking it. Their mother was physically assaulted, suffering cuts and bruises before the offender fled. The family say the council, care home agency and key safe installation company have taken no responsibility to what happened to their late mother nor addressed their concerns to ensure this distressing experience isn't repeated on another vulnerable person.

'' Our family want justice. My mother was 83 years old when she was physically assaulted by an intruder in September 2019 who broke into her key safe and opened the front door and attacked her. I did complain to the local council as I believe the key safe was put in a place that made our mother more vulnerable. I heard back from the council stating they have conducted an investigation and conclude they acted correctly and there is no evidence of a break in. I’m absolutely outraged as that suggests my mum made up the break in and injured herself. My mum died last week and our family feel really angry at their lack of responsibility and insinuations. My mum was a social, outgoing and fun loving individual who was left scared of going out and living on her own.'' (Roz, daughter, London.)

The family reported the key box safe was ripped from the wall outside their mothers house and raised concerns it was not installed correctly.

The family say their late mother received cuts and bruising after fighting off the assault that left her ''traumatised''.

The family want to highlight the potential dangers of having key safe boxes that are placed outside properties in direct view giving a clear indication a vulnerable person lives there. Their mum allegedly aired her concerns regarding the safety of having a key box outside her home in public view and was allegedly advised by the installer on the day that ' it was too late to change her mind.'

Four months after the sickening attack her family and the neighbours saw how her emotional and physical health had been negatively impacted by this shocking incident and said their mother suffered anxiety and was fearful when left by herself. CCFTV was sadly informed that their mother passed away four months after the break in and say this was a contributing factor to the cause of her death.

Care Campaign for the Vulnerable contacted the local council on behalf of the family. We raised our concerns and asked that this family receive answers to questions they say have not been forthcoming and to highlight the potential risks when placing key safe boxes in public view. If key safe boxes are to be used then we would advise safety monitoring on that property covering the area and not to be placed directly in public view. Better still, find a safer way to gain access. The local council representitive met with the family and Care Campaign for the Vulnerable and we requested a review of precedures on installing key safe boxes. The family have been promised the issues raised will be re-investigated.

Part of the Council's official conclusive response sent to the family on the 25th July 2020

RE: Key Safe Concerns

This has helped my understanding of the complaint as a new person in post.

We have considered the points you have made in your complaint and our meeting, and the systems we have in place for using key safes.

We accept that the provider may not have installed the key safe in line with the manufacturer’s instructions, placing the unit too close to the edge of the wall. This is a matter that have we taken up with the equipment provider.

Written consent and information for families when installing a key safe

Current practice is to agree the installation of a key safe verbally with the resident concerned and where they lack capacity to make that decision with a family member or appropriate representative. It is also not common to check with residents following the installation of a key safe that it remains required, most residents will notify us that their circumstances have changed.

I acknowledge the family would have preferred to have been consulted about this and will comment later in the letter on how we are addressing this in our policies.
Installation process

This complaint has highlighted the need for the Council to tighten policy around the use of key safes and we are in the process of implementing the following:


• a new policy including guidance for staff on the use and commissioning of key
safes and their positioning
• a new approach when communicating with residents about equipment and
when to include relatives
• work with the consortium working group for the equipment contract to identify
the prevalence of any similar issues elsewhere
• ensuring our provider arranges for a sample of key safes installed in H&F to
be checked for location, visibility and adherence to guidelines on positioning
with the attendance of one of my members of staff
• ensuring the specification for the equipment contract includes better
remedies, stronger responsiveness measures and that a policy on key
safes/alternatives is included
• reporting to our Strategic director of social care the outcome of the above
Family experience
The Council share your view that we need to consider the positioning of key safes and ensure that they are fitted in line with manufacturer’s instructions. Also, we recognise that there was a 4-month delay in responding to a request for further assessment and your mother's care was not increased between December 2019 and March 2020. On this basis we would like to make you an offer of £800 good will gesture to reflect the time and trouble in bringing these matters to our attention, the support that your mother should have received between December – March and any distress/inconvenience that may have been caused to the family.
I would like to thank you for raising your concerns with the Council and offering us the opportunity to learn about the services we provide. I hope that this letter addresses the concerns you have raised. I would like to thank you for raising your concerns with the Council and offering us the opportunity to learn about the services we provide. I hope that this letter addresses the concerns you have raised. If you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me using the details at the head/bottom of this letter.
I confirm that this matter has been responded to under the Adult Social Care Complaints Procedure, and I hope that you are satisfied with the response.

Ends.

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Care Campaign for the Vulnerable is learning of the pressures faced by conscientious led Care Providers striving to offer a caring and safe environment to both service users and staff. Safety monitoring is proving to be a invaluable care assist tool - bringing a more open and transparent culture into care homes as well as saving valuable resources within the care home sector and the NHS

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