Government Action On Care Home Reform Is 'Too Little Too Late', Says Expert Lawyer

CQC Given Special Powers To Close Down Underperforming Care Homes

16.07.2014

Expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have welcomed an announcement that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is to be given special powers to close down underperforming care homes, but say for those already subjected to neglect it comes as ‘too little too late’.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is set to reveal later today (16 June) that from October, 25,000 care home and homecare services in England will face a tough new inspection and rating regime that will highlight poor care to drive up standards.
 
From next April, services rated as inadequate face being put in to special measures and given a limited time period to make improvements. If they fail to improve, the Care Quality Commission's (CQC) Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, will be able to close them down.

The announcement follows the publication last month (9 June) of a Serious Case Review (SCR) commissioned by West Sussex Adult Safeguarding Board after an inquest into the deaths of 19 Orchid View Care Home residents between 2009 and 2011 found they were subjected to ‘institutionalised abuse’ and five deaths were contributed to by neglect.

The review, led by former Director for Adult Services of Hampshire County Council, Nick Georgiou, set out 33 recommendations to the CQC, social services and care home providers that he believed should be adopted to ensure the same widespread abuse can never happen again.

But specialist medical lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who represent the families of seven of the vulnerable Orchid View residents say a full independent Public Inquiry is still needed to set out a system of guidance and blueprint for reform which all private care providers can adopt and ensure their residents are looked after appropriately and safely.

Laura Barlow is an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Southampton office who represents the seven relatives from Orchid View. 

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to care home claims.