'Poor' Care Standards In England's Nursing Homes

The CQC Has Found Poor Standards of Care At Many UK Nursing Homes

10.10.2014

Standards of care at England’s residential nursing homes are not of a good enough standard and significant improvements are needed.

This is the conclusion of an investigation carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with the body's chief inspector Andrea Sutcliffe telling the BBC there have been problems across care homes for some time.

In fact, the expert labelled standards at some sites "awful", which has led the healthcare regulatory organisation to introduce new reforms to its systems this week, significantly changing the way it regulates, inspects and rates care facilities throughout the UK.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Ms Sutcliffe said of the standard of care: "It's not good enough at the moment. There is too much awful care that is actually happening and calling time on poor care is something that we have got to do.

"I'd say that the reputation of the CQC as we are speaking now in 2014 is improving. What we have recognised is that some of the ways we have been working needed to absolutely improve."

To help to resolve this, the CQC is introducing new inspection procedures throughout the health service, with Ofsted-style ratings to be awarded to care homes, hospitals and GP surgeries to inform patients of the standards there. These will have to be publicly displayed, therefore encouraging facilities to make improvements as quickly as possible.

Care homes will either be ranked as outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate in a similar manner to how educational establishments are rated.
The first of these is set to be awarded during November and will be published via the CQC's website for all interested parties to see.

Inspection teams will be comprised of members of the public and healthcare experts, who will work together to assess whether or not care services are safe, effective, well-led and responsive to the needs of patients.

The CQC is urging all parties involved to use a so-called Mum Test to determine standards, asking themselves if they would be happy for a loved one to be cared for in the home.

Expert Opinion
The number of homes failing CQC inspections around England and the standards of care at these homes is extremely disturbing but not, unfortunately, surprising. It is vital that swift action is taken to resolve the issues highlighted by the CQC. In our work we have seen first-hand the devastating consequences poor quality care within nursing homes can have on victims and their families.

“It is reassuring that the CQC are attempting to tackle historical failings in the industry. It is essential that failing care homes are identified and the CQC enforce the powers that they have. Whilst it will take some time to tackle the many unacceptable care homes that have been allowed to operate, it is encouraging to hear the CQC being candid about the problems in an attempt to bring about improvements.”
Ian Christian, Partner