One in four care homes are deemed ‘unacceptable’ according to a review website, which suggests the number of homes rated ‘bad’ or ‘poor’ by families has doubled in the last five years.
Five years ago, just one in 10 reviews reported homes as being ‘bad’ or ‘poor’ on the Good Care Guide – a review website where families and residents can post opinions and experiences of homes.
Five years ago 22% of home care agencies were rated ‘poor’ or ‘bad’ but by last year this had risen to 41%. On value for money, care homes were rated as ‘poor’ or ‘bad’ by 12% of reviews in 2012 but now stand at 27%.
Some reviews complained about insufficiently trained staff who were unsure of how to lift patients or provide dementia care, in addition to hygiene and medicine dispensing problems.
Stephen Burke, director of Good Care Guide and director of United for All Ages, told The Telegraph: “Poor reviews for care for older people reflect the growing concerns about the funding of care and the care crisis.
“With our ageing population and more older people needing care at home, it’s critical that families can access home care services they can rely on.
“As government puts more of the responsibility onto families for providing and paying for care for older people, we expect their reviews to get even tougher about the quality of care. We must learn from what families think about care.”
Caroline Abrahams, director of AgeUK was quoted by the newspaper as saying: “There have been warnings that we were reaching a tipping point in social care and it feels like we have just gone over it. There are people out there who are getting good care, but you have to be jolly lucky.”
But the Good Care Guide has come under criticism in recent years. Critics have highlighted the potential for damaging care home businesses if bad or unfounded reviews are posted.
Launched in 2012, government watchdogs helped develop the scheme and its backers said it provides “real, honest feedback on what is available”.