10th August 2017
Care home report calls for action to get the basics right on standards
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 window sills, 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.
This 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.
Joel Charles, Deputy Chief Executive of Future Care Capital, said:
“Healthwatch England, in its recent report, has identified similar concerns to those set out in the recent Care Quality Commission report on the state of adult social care services. Whilst it is important to recognise the excellent support many care homes provide for people in later life, it is also important that lessons are learned and change happens where there are failures. Healthwatch England outline four ways to improve care, including environmental improvements, more exercise activities, staff training and better access to health services outside the care home. It is important that the care home sector looks closely at Healthwatch England’s recommendations and take steps to tackle these critical issues.
“Future Care Capital is committed to a new vision for health and care services as part of our vision for 2030 campaign. There should be a unified approach to health and care provision that is underpinned by a Care Covenant, a new agreement between the state and the public, which sets out a commitment to support the health and care needs of everyone throughout their life.”
Notes to Editors
For all press enquiries, please contact Joel Charles, FCC Deputy Chief Executive, at [email protected].
- Healthwatch England, What’s it like to live in a care home? Findings from the Healthwatch network (sourced 10th August 2017) – accessible here:
- Care Quality Commission, The state of adult social care services 2014 to 2017 (Sourced 6th July 2017) – assessible here: http://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/evaluation/state-adult-social-care-services-2014-2017
About Future Care Capital (FCC)
FCC is a charity, emerging from the sale of the awarding organisation, the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE), in September 2015.
Beginning life as the National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB) in 1945, the charity has evolved throughout its 70-year history and continues to have Her Majesty the Queen as its Royal Patron.
Following the sale of its awarding organisation business and assets (including the CACHE and NNEB brands) the charity has now embarked on its next chapter.
The Trustees have developed a detailed Strategy for the future direction of the charity and have recently approved the 10-year Business Plan. The Trustees have identified the following vision, goals and aspirations that follow on from the Charity’s objects:
Charitable Objects: To promote education, training, quality and standards in care, health and education and allied disciplines.
Vision Statement: The charity will be known for being the leading independent voice for applying evidence that will advocate for and deliver a step change in health and care, including the advancement of quality and standards as well as education and training for allied professions as a sustainable charity.
Mission: Engage, educate and involve all generations in the development and delivery of unified health and care provision.
Key Beneficiaries: Those in receipt of care.
Key Goals and Aspirations:
- Be recognised as a leading advocate and thought leader;
- to deliver a step change in the advancement of quality and standards, education and training in care and health and allied professions; and
- sustainably grow impact.
The charity has adopted an agile approach to delivery underpinned by an enabling internal culture and supporting systems that reflect its core values of empathy, diversity, openness and professionalism.
The charity’s core offerings are delivered through two collaborative but independent delivery vehicles:
Evidence based Advocacy – developing new policy propositions and solutions supported by evidence-based research, stimulating debate and innovation through events, publications, projects and discussions with diverse stakeholders including the general public.
Social Impact Investment Fund – an investment fund managed by the charity to invest in sustainable social enterprises through an Innovation Fund, which support better quality and standards of services in care, health and related education and training, which will generate a commercial return for the charity, supported by a ‘collaborative hub’ with the charity at its centre, facilitating knowledge sharing, supporting innovation and best practice, and gathering evidence and insights to feed into the charity’s Advocacy operations.
Legally structured as a charity, FCC intends to operate as a dynamic, agile and commercially aware organisation: a true social enterprise.