Cally family: ‘Agency carers skived off work while our dad was dying of cancer’
- Credit: Archant
Two carers meant to be looking after a terminally ill Cally man forged each other’s signatures so they could bunk off work, it has been claimed.
Aquaflo, the care agency they work for, is still looking after 24 people in Islington. It’s now being urgently quizzed by health chiefs.
Leslie Fish, 64, died on Monday morning after an eight-month battle with throat cancer.
For the past couple of months, two carers had been taking it in turns to visit his Manger Road home four times a day.
But days before his death, Leslie’s family learnt the carers should have been visiting at the same time. They are said to have forged each other’s signatures on sign-in sheets, meaning they were getting paid to do half the work.
Son Lee, 35, told the Gazette: “It’s made our ordeal even harder. We are so angry. At a time when he’s just died, we are now thinking he could have lived longer, and happier.”
Aquaflo was contracted to carry out Leslie’s care by Islington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The CCG said it had been made “directly aware” of the claims and launched an investigation.
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Lee is taking legal advice. Aquaflo, which was given a “requires improvement” rating (third on a scale of four) in a Care Quality Commission report on Saturday, has also launched its own investigation.
Last Monday, Leslie’s daughter Shelley made a complaint about her dad’s bed sores. Lee said: “The person on the phone asked, where’s the other one [carer]? It was like, there isn’t another one.
“That evening, the two carers involved turned up at the house. My sister wasn’t happy. There was a confrontation. They got on the hands and knees, holding her leg, begging her not to take it further.”
Last Wednesday, Lee said Aquaflo’s manager met the family and explained the two carers had been taking it in turns to visit.
“We couldn’t believe it,” Lee said. “My dad was a cancer patient who needed all the help he could get. My mum [Susan], who is ill herself, was helping each individual carer out – when they should have been there working as a team.
Lee, of Cricklewood, added: “The past two months could have been made much easier for my dad. He was bed ridden, and one person moving him caused him quite a lot of pain. If it had been two carers, it would have been much less painful for him.”
A CCG spokesperson said it will “seek assurances that Aquaflo is conducting frequent checks on staff, on quality of care delivered and whether care is actually being delivered. This means Aquaflo will need to provide demonstrable evidence of procedures in place to address this issue.”