Our Patrons

Our Patrons

The Rt Hon the Countess of Mar

Margaret of Mar, 31st Countess of Mar, is a crossbench member of the House of Lords, an elected hereditary peer, the holder of the original Earldom of Mar, the oldest peerage title in the United Kingdom.

A Message from our Patron:

“I seem to have known Kate Blake, joint founder of the Edith Ellen Foundation forever. When she first started expressing her concerns I was struck by the constructive way in which she dealt with many problems. On one occasion, she wrote: “I guess my frustrations are that the NHS might be good at finding problems but are not so good at resolving and actually improving them.”

Not to be daunted, Kate set about actually improving one of the problems that fill my mailbag – the lack of kindness and compassion that so many that patients, particularly elderly and disabled patients encounter when they have to go into hospital or care homes.

Kate did a lot of thinking; she enlisted the help of David Sparkes; together they secured seed-corn funding and, lo and behold, all sorts of lovely people turned up to support them.

They produced a training manual which they took around to every imaginable authority which might be able to help to promote their ideas. They never spoke about disappointments, which I know they must have suffered; they constantly spoke of their little triumphs and this is where their success lays. 

Together, David and Kate would not take ‘no’ for an answer. 

I know that this little group of energetic volunteers who so ardently believe in their cause, from the time that they threw their first stone into the pond and watched it spread, will ensure that the Edith Ellen benefits countless thousands of patients in the UK by spreading the word that a little kindness and compassion in all our interactions will go an awfully long way. 

Loving kindness can never be a one-way transaction – it will always come back to you in buckets full if you show it to others. Please take this message with you.”

Our Patron Adeline Dalley


A message from our Patron Adeline Dalley

My name is Adeline Dalley, I was once a Senior Carer who specialised in Palliative Care and loved my job more than anything. After one day turning whistle blower to protect the war Hero, Sir Douglas Bader’s Wife all would swiftly change.

So what did I do next?

Write my book – Behind Those Care Home Doors and Co-write the song on here called Behind Closed Doors.

Why – Because the neglect, abuse and corrupt behaviours at the expense of our vulnerable elders continues every day.

After seeing new management walk into a new job and no action taken (She refused to let me call an ambulance for one of my residents who I had notice suffered a stroke, saying it could wait until Monday and see a GP)

Exposing abuse at another home along with many others, after ringing CQC so many times (for over a year) eventually I told them I was recording the call and expected action. A head inspector writes to tell me they would inspect and don’t have my correspondence of concerns, the home fails inspection weeks later, then I receive a letter of apology saying various people had raised concerns and they failed to put this together. 6 Months later they fail inspection again, still no enforcement action taken.

They say they learn from mistakes? I have experienced 6 out of 9 care homes being told there is an unannounced inspection and when this will be? What gets done in these 48 hours is amazing, cover ups action on issues, unsigned medication etc.

After my final let down of a care setting which was full of love being taken over and destroyed I had 2 choices, give up the career I had loved and trained so hard in or start alone as an independent carer, which is what I did. I have been to London for meetings at CQC, am also a patron of the Edith Ellen Foundation and we all say what needs to change from people that know, but to no avail.

People are not living in many care homes; they only exist and are treated like on a conveyer belt, being left in soiled pads, given the wrong food, isolated due to poor activities and I could go on and on.

As for the MUMS test, in my own personal experience I can state one thing that will never happen, No family member of mine will end up in care. Of course many Bodies are against cameras, because we would see those passed recent inspections and what actually goes on behind those doors.

Please don’t get me wrong as there are so many I have worked with you are so amazing at their job but don’t get the support. Directors taking huge profits, E learning is not sufficient training to work with the elderly, these tick box tests have to stop. Managers with no respect for staff so here are the changes personally I would like to see.

  • Cameras
  • When homes have a high turnover, Safeguard, CQC stepping in to speak to the staff that have left.
  • If you are contacted for example via text from a patient you know who is scared and feels like a prisoner, this cannot be accounted for as evidence without their permission. FEAR stops them from speaking to management and the CQC.
  • Governing bodies to look at companies on Glass Door etc websites, so they can see what workers are saying about companies and treatment of residents.
  • People who raise concerns are often banned from visiting residents, unless they are accompanied which breaches Human Rights to say the least.
  • So families Legal Action is the best option by Solicitors who specialise in Negligence/ human rights etc, Should you get nowhere with the Hierarchy of a care company.
  • Fitness to practice questions for those who mistreat staff/ patients about the way in which they conduct themselves needs to be looked into.
  • Why did they leave their last position?
  • I have worked with many compassionate ethnic minorities, however if I can’t understand them how can someone who is deaf/blind, can they read medication doses correctly?
  • Managers and Brochures should rarely be believed, been there, seen them, experienced the lies first hand.
  • Interesting fact- I applied for Expert by Experience, cannot imagine why I was turned down and told I would be wasted with my experience here?
  • Because I think it is unacceptable for those who have done so much for us to suffer for 6 months before a home is looked at again by an inspector.
  • I hope this song that accompanies my book, gives the message, people in care are too afraid to use their voice so we must act for them; we would if it was our own parent after all.

The biggest shame is that so often the apple rots from the top, get down to the real staff who work short, go without breaks on minimum wage, they are the ones who should be managing that have the compassion.

I continue to fight for those in care and their families, have my dream of winning the lottery and buying my own care home to show them all how it should and can be done.

A nursing floor of 20 is lucky to have 4 carers; these people take 2 carers a time. Less than 15 minutes per patient, for £1000 a week?

I have for the first time been able to give amazing care to people and will never look back.

Why don’t care homes want whistle blowers? Because they know there are poor standards and you will speak out, yet to ignore is no better than being an accomplice.

Enjoy the song and open your eyes, this is everywhere and it shouldn’t be. We trust our loved ones to these people in the belief they will be protected I have one sentence of advice for people.

Any doubt; get your camera in there before it is too late. Don’t you think it is odd how when cases of neglect and abuse come up the cases are not held in the public domain? Behind Closed Doors.

I wanted one thing, to make sure everyone I treated was given the same love, dignity, empty and respect I would give my own parents. But here it is being told when holding a lady crying giving her a hug that this was abusive and I should just give her a tissue and have no physical contact- you wonder why I have no faith, Well I cannot be this way if someone is distressed, if I could I shouldn’t be in this career as far as I am concerned.

Listen to the song, imaging being in this person’s shoes, YOU may be their only hope.