Care home report calls for action to get the basics right on standards

10th August 2017 about a 2 minute read

Too many elderly residents and those with severe learning disabilities in care homes across the country are living in accommodation not fit for purpose and left without exercise for up to five weeks at a time. This is according to a report released today by Healthwatch England, who visited 197 care homes across 63 different local authority areas in England, between January 2016 and April 2017.

The report also found that residents were being dressed in other people’s clothes, some had rotting plants left on their windowsills, and many of the homes had a lack of access to basic health services including GP and dental checks. Other examples of poor practice include a lack of support for basic hygiene and cleanliness in some circumstances.

These further cements last month’s findings from the Care Quality Commission’s The state of adult social care services 2014-2017 report that found one in four adult social care facilities, inspected between these dates, was deemed unsafe.

Care homes have had to deal with a rise in demand and stretched resources – with care staff “rushed off their feet” unable to deliver the sort of person-centred care expected. However, getting these basics right is essential to ensure a marked improvement in standards is met.

Healthwatch England’s report has identified three key themes, formed from the views of residents, families and care staff:

  • the quality of care varies between homes, but also within the same home, with too few homes getting the basics right every time;
  • good care homes meet all people’s health and care needs, working seamlessly with other services when their residents need additional support; and
  • the best residential services are the ones that focus on enabling people to continue living as if they were still in their own home.

The review was undertaken to help raise standards by promoting good practice as well as to demonstrate that acting on feedback can help homes provide consistently good care.