Relatives & Residents Association

We support, inform and speak on behalf of older people in care


More quality care needed urgently

7 July 2017: The Care Quality Commission report ,”The State of Adult Social Care Services 2014-2017“, just published, gives us further cause for serious concern. The stark headline figures revealed that almost one-third of all nursing homes and more than one-quarter of all residential care homes has been rated as ‘unsafe’ with almost the same number failing to be ‘well-led”.

fewer than 2% of care homes for older people receives a rating of ‘outstanding’, when over 20% of  primary and secondary schools achieve ‘outstanding’ ratings.

This Report once more reveals not enough progress is being made to raise the quality of care in care homes and nursing homes. This must again raise questions about the infrequency of inspections. Equally concerning is that 26% of those services formerly rated as ‘good’ had deteriorated to ‘requiring improvement’ or even ‘inadequate’.

It is still shocking to realise that fewer than 2% of care homes for older people receives a rating of ‘outstanding’, when over 20% of  primary and secondary schools achieve ‘outstanding’ ratings.

All too often, there is a long gap of two years or more between inspections. Urgent questions must also be asked about the effectiveness of the Commission’s improvement role, when 43% of those rated as ‘requiring improvement’ had not changed on re-inspection and in 5% had actually deteriorated.

This reinforces what we hear from relatives on our Helpline about unsatisfactory conditions in many homes being tolerated for long periods, with too little or no enforcement action in response

Older people in care homes are at the end of their lives. Their care is complex and demanding, yet 48% of those providing direct care have ‘no relevant qualifications’, according to Skills for Care. Compare this with staff working with children in early years, as child minders or in nurseries, where only 12% is described as unqualified, but 77% have qualifications at level 3 or higher. 91% of these services attain a good or outstanding rating.

Unless and until action is taken to ensure that care workers have the training and support they need, little will change.

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