As a qualified nurse (no longer practicing), I am always drawn to stories of medical interest, and this one caught my eye. It intrigued me. The author works in the field of supportive care, and knows all rules and regulations related to the needs and dignity of the vulnerable, and yet was rendered helpless when it came to the care of her own mother. This is the story of how they felt let down by those sought out to assist the family with the task of ensuring their mother had all needs met. The story of how they could not prevent the death of their mother due to what they considered as neglect. So many emotional events surrounded them and added to the impact of their story. Broken limbs due to poor use of equipment, staffing attitudes in the care home - and eventually the hospital - and policies not followed in the correct manner, are all recorded and laid bare in this sad diary of events.
For the family it is heart-breaking, for the authorities, embarrassing, for the reader ... shocking.
How could so much happen to a family with such a knowledgeable member amongst them? In fact, two members worked within the social care sector, and their requests and complaints were presented with genuine, professional and personal concern for a loved one. Yet still they were failed by others who were in control of care, and who failed to listen to simple requests. Human error reared its head time and again throughout the end of life passage of an elderly, frail lady.
After the death of their mother, the family opted to seek legal support. They wanted answers. Several meetings lead to many questions as to what went wrong. Only a handful of replies showed someone had read the questions. The family felt those involved with the patient care (or lack of it), needed to acknowledge their failures, and alter policies accordingly. The family wanted no money, purely apologies and adjustments. There is some evidence within the book that this happened after many pleas via letters, `phone calls, and emails. There are still outstanding answers to be delivered. Recent whistle-blowing highlights, the public shaming of hospitals and care homes, are a step in the right direction to prevent sad family stories such as this one.
The book also has informative guidelines for the reader should they find themselves in a similar situation, or how to avoid various pitfalls while seeking care of a vulnerable loved one.
An emotional read and not one to be skimmed through. Each chapter has one thing in common; the love of a mother who had her dignity and care bought into question by a supportive, loving family. A family left with questions and heartbreak.
This book should be required reading not only for anyone using the NHS but for everybody working in it. I could not believe what I was seeing. Suzan Collins is an expert in the field and even she could not get satisfactory treatment for her mother, let alone satisfactory answers to her pertinent questions. I was enraged. I urge everyone in the UK to read this book because either you or your relatives will be old one day and I would hate to think of anyone being treated this way again.
I don't work in the care profession so wasn't sure what to expect when reading this book but to say I am shocked and overwhelmed at what happened to Suzan's mum and how she was treated. It has really opened my eyes up to what is happening all around the world in care homes and I would recommend everyone who works in a care home/hospital to read this book and those who don't. My fingers are crossed that nothing like this happens to anyone I know but if it did before reading this book I wouldn't of had a clue what to do and probably wouldn't of questioned it but now after reading this book I know what to do should I need to.
Beyond my control is a thought provoking read. This is simply not just about Suzan's experience of how the heath system failed her mother, this is a book that should be read by everyone who has a loved one in care and also for anyone working in this profession. Suzan's candid tale of her beloved mother and how she was so badly let down is heart braking. With her knowledge of the heath system she is able to address what went wrong and gain answers to many questions which would have never been known. I would have loved for my mother to have had this information when my Gran was in care, as Im sure the helpful insights in this book would have enabled our family to have not felt so out on a limb. This is a wonderful enlightenment and gives hope that with the practical information for carers that Suzan includes in her book, the well being of our elderly can only improve. Well done Suzan for bringing this to light, this book should be mandatory for any one working with vulnerable people.
This book is a truly harrowing read, but also essential reading for anyone, like most of us, who may at one time or another, have someone we care about dependent on hospital inpatient care.
It details the story of Suzan's mother, an elderly lady with a physical disability but who was mentally still as sharp as a pin, and how a catalogue of appalling neglect, incompetence, apathy, poor nursing practice, cover-ups and error after error caused her completely unnecessary death following months of equally unnecessary agonising pain, misery and a total loss of dignity. It shines a spotlight on what is actually happening in many of our hospitals, how management has lost it's way, how it's all about shifting blame or covering up rather than taking responsibility to ensure it doesn't happen again, and how ward staff often can't see what is so blindingly obviously neglect that they are inadvertently delivering instead of care.
The most shocking aspect of all of this is that Suzan herself has worked in the Care Sector at a very senior level for over 30 years. This is a daughter who understands the system, who knows what constitutes basic standards of care, and who is intelligent and articulate and still, despite all of this, she was powerless. Suzan did everything she possibly could to help her mother access the level of care and concern that she both needed and deserved, and yet it got them nowhere, such is the size of the machine that the NHS has become. It begs the question, if Suzan couldn't right the wrongs, what hope have the rest of us got when it's our own vulnerable relatives in hospital?
Well, the book addresses this aspect too. Suzan has included advice and information about how to make the system work better for all of us to learn from. This is an essential book to read, and one that is best read when everyone in your family is well and healthy, please don't wait until there is someone you care about already in hospital and falling through the cracks where the care should be.
I found this book very heart rending at times , I must say that this is a book that anyone looking for a career in the medical profession, new or older, or anyone looking for a home for their loved one has to read. Filled with so many informative websites and help for everything , all written so as the every day person can read without having to know all the medical jargon. The author and her family have been through this torture but still had the strength to write it down for others to learn from.
As a Carer myself this was an absolute must read book, not only can it help in recognising abuse but can also help when dealing and reporting abuse too. Suzan's story not only told the story of what her and her family went through but also dealt with the devastating effects it can have on people. I did like the fact that not only did Suzan tell her story but she gave you guidelines at the end of each chapter eg hints and tips when choosing a care home, or who to report to in the case of abuse. Too many people trust those in healthcare because they are supposed to care but can we really?, we take it for granted they are trained etc. I found myself at the ending of this book thinking everybody needs to read this book and hear what can really go on. Well done Suzan on writing what is true but sad that you had to go through the ordeal to do so.
This book should a mandatory read for anyone working in a care setting. It made me stop and think of what I do everyday and how I could do it better. It highlights bad practice and the importance of safeguarding and transparency. It is an emotional, difficult read and we can learn so much from it to ensure it never happens in our services
This book was very inspiring for me, especially at the moment I read it, since I had a good close friend in a retirement home. ; even though things were not that bad for him, I could see, reading the book of Suzan Collins ..other possibilities in the care of elderly persons.... And I love the way she was teaching us how to deal with people that are fragile.... I left the book with my son in England... Anna maria Rizzato