20 January 2017: The real care home crisis was hidden in the Guardian’s article ‘Care home closures set to rise as funding crisis bites’. The main concerns confronting those seeking care, typified by callers to our Helpline, are about serious deficits in care caused by poorly trained and understaffed services. Surely the headline should have highlighted the fact that approximately 50% of inspected social care services “need improvement”, according to CQC, the regulator?
we cannot expect a decent care sector of which we can be proud
Until care staff receive mandatory training and supervision and turnover is reduced, people dependent on their skill and care will remain at risk. The most recent Safeguarding Statistics* starkly reveal the vastly increased vulnerability to neglect and care omissions of those receiving care services . While one-third of care workers remain on zero hours contracts** and far too many on low wages***, we cannot expect a decent care sector of which we can be proud.
The predicted closure of care homes in 2017 may affect one or two per cent of care home beds. Poor practice currently affects almost 50% of those in receipt of care. That’s the true scandal.
* Safeguarding Adults 2015-2016, Experimental Statistics, NHS Digital
** The State of the Adult Social Care Workforce in England, September, 2016, Skills for Care
*** According to the above, care workers’ ‘real terms’ wages went up 1% over the last four years