Welsh Care Home Patients 'Institutionalised Too Quickly'

Welsh Care Home Standards Need Improvements, A Review Has Highlighted

11.11.2014

The standard of care in many Welsh residential nursing homes is not acceptable and leads to older people becoming institutionalised in many cases, according to a new report.

Results of over 2,000 questionnaires and 100 unannounced visits to care homes in the country have been compiled into a report by the Older People's Commissioner for Wales, entitled 'A Place Called Home?'.

BBC News has reported on these findings, the overall conclusion of which is that going into a care home leads to elderly people becoming institutionalised too quickly, as their individual identity and personality is overtaken by the system and they no longer have any control over their own life.

This view was reached following analysis of several factors, including to what level nursing home residents interacted with others, as well as the quality of their diet and general environment.

In addition, the care regulator looked at the training and qualifications of the staff looking after them before reaching the conclusion that many residents have an "unacceptable quality of life" when they are living in such an environment, leading to significant concerns surrounding their health, safety and wellbeing.

Care Forum Wales - which oversees 500 care providers in the country - said the Older People's Commissioner's report supported what it had been saying for some time and that improvements were indeed needed.

However, chair of the body Mario Kreft said positive achievements were still prevalent in the system, despite its current state.

As the care homes review was conducted using the commissioner's statutory powers, affected parties must take action on the points raised - something that many have already started to do.

In response to the report's findings, a government spokesperson commented: "The Welsh government, for its part, is already taking action on many of the areas highlighted in this report through a draft bill to strengthen the regulation and inspection of social services.

"We expect the care sector to consider this report carefully - as the Welsh government will - and reply to the Older People's Commissioner's specific points."