18 Per Cent Of Nursing Homes 'Don't Meet Safety Standards'

Research By The CQC Shows Many Nursing Homes Aren't Safe Enough


New research published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that 18 per cent of nursing homes don't meet the required safety standards.

While the required benchmarks for getting a 'pass' grade for a CQC inspection has been increased in recent years to improve the level of care given to elderly and vulnerable people across the UK, a number of homes aren't meeting this standard.

Much of this is down to poor staffing levels and 18 per cent of nursing homes investigated by the CQC in 2012-13 did not have enough personnel to deal with the needs of patients, many of whom need specialised, tailored treatment programmes for long-standing illnesses.

Hospitals were also put under the spotlight by the CQC for failings after one in three healthcare workers said that communication between senior managers and members of staff were not effective enough, while one in six would not recommend their organisation as a good place to have a career.

Independent hospitals fared much better than their NHS counterparts and 99 per cent were found to properly respect the dignity of patients, compared to 91 per cent of those in the public sector - mainly due to greater cash reserves and shorter waiting lists.

Hospitals owned by private companies were also praised for effective care and support, with only two per cent of facilities in this sector failing to meet expected standards in this area, far lower than the nine per cent seen in the NHS.

The news that many NHS institutions are failing to meet standards comes after a Freedom of Information request from the Labour Party revealed a 350 per cent increase in the use of taxis in place of ambulances in the space of four years.

Labour politicians argue this is a prime example of the government's underinvestment in public health services.

Andy Burnham, Labour's shadow health secretary, said: "People who have faced an anxious wait for an ambulance will be stunned by Jeremy Hunt’s complacency. Despite mounting evidence of the pressure on emergency services, his only response is 'crisis, what crisis?'"

Expert Opinion
The research published by the CQC shares some frightening statistics and concerns about safety standards within care homes. It is vital that steps are to taken to ensure staffing levels are adequate to cope with the amount of patients and that the staff who are there are given the appropriate training to provide the best possible care.

“We saw with the recent inquests into deaths at the Orchid View care home that there can be devastating consequences of poor care in homes so it is crucial that the safety standards in those homes that aren’t meeting the target are improved as a matter of urgency.

“It should not take a series of inspections by the authorities for care homes to give elderly patients the standard of care they require and should expect.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner