Following the unacceptable treatment of his father within a care home, and his subsequent ban from being able to visit him, Paul Doolan campaigned alone to secure changes. His initiative has finally come to fruition- after he secured some lottery funding. There are others who similarly campaign alone, albeit with different goals.
What must be admired is the sheer persistence of these individuals against all odds- with little support from others, in addition to personal psychological or financial hardship that may ensue.
Paul has established based in Somerset which has launched their “Fair in Care” campaign for trained Lay Visitor Volunteers who are to be given access at anytime to Care establishments and Hospitals with powers to access records. Paul Doolan their Chief Executive says the Public have lost confidence in the CQC as an Inspectorate and we need a pro-active system rather than like CQC mainly reactive. Homes and Hospitals are frequently given Notice of Inspections and recently Weston General Hospital delayed a CQC Inspection at Christmas as they were too busy! The Inspection is now due to take place next week. Care Providers and Hospitals know too well that Inspections are extremely unlikely to take place at night, week-ends and Bank Holidays. Trained Volunteer Lay Visitors can fill this gap and reassure the Public and restore confidence in the Service. As Paul Doolan states, the whole care system needs more vigilance and outside checks. The group are lobbying the government to achieve the same powers for lay assessors who will be statutory, as CQC inspectors. As Paul asks “will anyone really disagree with their loved ones being checked on more regularly?”
We will watch the development of this group with interest- it may well lead to other things.

Details of Help-in Care and requests to sign the petition calling for lay inspectors as discussed above , are here