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Hospital gets "Outstanding" rating

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital has become the first specialist trust in the country to be rated Outstanding. The Care Quality Commission says the hospital delivers the highest standards of patient care.

We found the care at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to be of exceptional quality. There was a very clear vision and strategy for delivering the highest standards of patient care with a strong focus on quality and a positive patient experience.

– Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals

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Watch: Amy Welch takes a look at some of the stories you've shared with us about elderly care

All this week we've done a series of special reports into how we care for elderly people in our region.

We asked you to tell us about your experiences of the care sector - and the response was massive. You've told us some heartwarming stories of wonderful care your families have received.

You've also told us of experiences so bad they sound like something out of a horror film.

Rounding off her series, here's our correspondent Amy Welch with just some of the stories you told us.

Who to contact if you have concerns about elderly care in the North West

All this week we've done a series of special reports into how we care for elderly people in our region. As the series draws to a close we'd like to provide some information of how people can get in touch with relevant services if they have concerns about elderly care.

We asked you to tell us about your experiences of the care sector - and the response was massive.

The care quality commission is the watchdog that inspects and rates care services.

Ann O'Connor spoke with Debbie Westhead from the Care Quality Commission earlier today, and this is what she had to say.

If you have concerns or just want some advice about elderly relatives in care visit the Care Quality Commission website.

  • Telephone: 03000 616161
  • Fax: 03000 616171
  • To report a concern as a member of the public go here.
  • To report a concern if you are a member of staff go here.

Family in desperate bid to government for son's treatment

A family on the Isle of Man who have desperately tried to convince the government to fund drug treatment for their son will have to move away.

Finley Hesketh, 7, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare muscle-wasting disease which largely affects boys.

His parents have tried in vain to pledge for funding of Translarna from the Island's Government who say they don't have the funds to pay for it.

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Bolton care home put into special measures

Inspectors have put a care home in Bolton into special measures.

The Care Quality Commission rated Shannon Court Care Centre as inadequate following an inspection in July. It provides general nursing, as well as nursing and residential care for those living with a dementia. The home can accommodate up to 78 people in single rooms, most of which are en-suite. On the day of the inspection there were 75 people currently using the service.

People are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care. We found that the care provided by Shannon Court Care Centre fell a very long way short of what we expect services to provide, which is why we have intervened to keep people using this service safe. We were very concerned that vulnerable people using this service were not being kept safe in the most basic of ways. We found the centre to be extremely dirty and untidy with a number of infection risks, and a roof patio overlooking the car park had a low wall that people using the service could have fallen from or climbed over and been seriously hurt. We also saw that medicines were not managed safely at the service. On the day of our inspection we saw people being given medication in an unsafe way, as well as the incorrect storage and disposal of medicines which put people at risk of being harmed. We were also very concerned that the dignity and respect of people using Shannon Court Care Centre was not respected, and people were poorly presented. If insufficient improvements have been made such that there remains a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall, we will not hesitate to take further enforcement action.

– Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care in the North

Man says benefit cuts led to him losing his leg

David Boyce says he lost his leg to diabetes after his benefits were cut Credit: MEN

A diabetic man from Salford claims that cuts to his benefits led to him losing his leg. 54 year old David Boyce had to have his leg amputated when his condition spiralled out of control. It came after his benefits were halted for five months. He says this meant he couldn't eat properly which made his condition worse.

David says he got into a dispute with the Department for Work and Pensions about his jobseeker’s agreement and was sanctioned numerous times. He says his benefits were frozen 14 times because of issues with paperwork. In all, he says he went five months without payments. Campaigners eventually helped him win an appeal against the sanctions, but by July, complications from his type two diabetes had already caused irreversible damage.

David, from Weaste says he couldn’t control his insulin intake and was unable to follow his strict diabetic diet because he had no money. After he suffered diabetic ulcers and was diagnosed with the flesh-eating disease, necrotizing fasciitis, doctors were forced to amputate one of his legs. Now supporters are seeking compensation.

My health deteriorated, my foot swelled up and I got ulcers. In July, I went into hospital. Somewhere along the line, I contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bug, through the foot ulcer caused by my inability to sustain my diabetic diet. I suffered from depression and mental anxiety. I’m not a rich man. I had to sell everything to eat. You don’t tell anyone, it’s embarrassing, that’s what they prey on. You go into a depression. You lock yourself away.

– David Boyce
David says he couldn't follow his strict diabetic diet Credit: MEN

Sanctions are an important part of our benefits system and it is right that there is a system in place for tackling those few who do not fulfil their commitment to find work.

They are only used in a very small percentage of cases, and the number of sanctions has fallen substantially in the last year.

– Department for Work and Pensions Spokesman

Watch: Elderly care is 'close to crisis point' say council

The head of one of the North West’s biggest social services departments says he struggles to sleep at night because of cuts he's had to make to care for elderly people.

Liverpool city council say they've had their adult social care budget cut by £50 million in the past 3 years.They say services are close to crisis point. Local authorities across the region now have an average of just £2.75 an hour to spend on care.

There are fears only those who can afford to pay privately will be guaranteed good care and, as part of her special week-long investigation into care for the elderly.

Amy Welch looks at who pays the bill.

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