Almost four out of 10 elderly care homes underperforming, research finds

Almost four in ten care homes failed to meet acceptable standards in CQC inspections this month, a report has revealed.  

Analysis of 642 CQC inspections by The Express revealed this month revealed that 247 or 38% were rated ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’. ‘Outstanding’ and ‘good’ homes numbered 19 and 376, respectively.

Jayne Connery, Director of Care Campaign For The Vulnerable, said: “While some claims have been made that inspection outcomes are slowly improving that is of cold comfort to the residents living in the 41 inadequate homes,” she said.

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“A read of some of those reports confirms that poor care is a daily offering for many of the people living in those homes.”

Barchester Healthcare’s Sherwood Lodge in Preston was one of the inadequate homes highlighted in the report.

The CQC carried out an inspection of the home in April following concerns from the local authority in relation to the safe care and treatment of people.

A following inspection in June identified a number of breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 in relation to safeguarding people from abuse, safe care and treatment, meeting people’s nutrition and hydration needs, medicines management, staffing, management of risks, accidents and incidents, person centred care, infection prevention and control, Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, records and good governance.

A Barchester spokesperson said: ““Under its current management Barchester Healthcare has seen continuous improvement in the performance of its nursing and residential homes, so that nearly 80% of our facilities are now rated good or outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and we outperform the care quality average in every care category.

“We have taken decisive action to improve care at Sherwood Lodge, including appointing a new management team, along with a refurbishment programme, and are confident it is now delivering good care, something that has been recognised by local councils and NHS which are confidently placing residents at the home.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, the CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care, said: “We know many care providers are rising to the challenge and responding to the concerns we raise with them but the sector is fragile.

“Many are not improving at the rate we expect them to and in a small number we have found some deterioration. Although dedicated staff continue to provide safe, high-quality and compassionate care, sadly this is not everyone’s experience. This has got to change.”

The CQC told CHP the overall level of requires improvement and inadequate homes remained at around one in five services. A spokesperson said this month’s figures had been inflated by the fact that inspectors were focusing on revisiting requires improvement and inadequate homes to check on progress.

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