High number of care homes have illegally poor standards
The amount of care homes that have been issued with official warnings after inspectors have discovered “unacceptable” and illegal failing are reaching record numbers, meaning many vulnerable people are left at risk.
Figures from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) show that the number of official warnings being issued has risen by 43% in just one year. Inspectors found that staff were falsifying medical records and failing to investigate claims of abuse and residents were being put at risk from scalding waters whilst left in filthy and unheated rooms.
It is believed that the catalogue of failings have exposed a crisis in the care home sector that could be even greater than the recent Keogh investigation into hospitals with high death rates. Fears have been expressed by patients’ groups over residential home’s failings being only “the tip of the iceberg”. CQC’s own management have admitted that the current inspection is “totally flawed” meaning that numerous scandals have been missed; due to this, the system is about to be overhauled in the autumn.
Ros Altman, former Treasury adviser on older people, has described recent finding as “deeply worrying”. Dr Altmann, now director general of Saga Group added: “We have a crisis in the care home sector, with staff on minimum wage pay delivering minimal care, rather than the decent and dignified care that people deserve”.
She claims that the catalogue of failings is reminiscent of recent reports looking into high mortality rates at NHS hospitals as residents in care homes are usually confined to them for the rest of their lives.
In CQC’s 2012/13 annual report figures presented that 910 warning notices had been issued in the year ending in March which had grown from 638 the year before. 818 of these warning notices were in adult social care.
A spokesman for CQC said the watchdog was drawing up plans for a new “tougher more effective” approach to regulation in social care, which will go to public consultation.
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