The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is reportedly planning to launch a new â€˜gold standardâ€™ rating scheme for the 24,000 care homes in England.
The CQC scheme, predicted to start in April 2012 following a consultation, will give care facilities the opportunity to apply for an excellence rating. This will allow potential residents to choose homes with the highest standards of care.
As well as providing residents with a better insight into how these homes are performing, the CQC also wants to incentivise the operators of care homes to provide top quality services by offering the â€˜gold standardâ€™ reward. The regulator will be assessing homes on aspects such as:
â€¢ Extra facilities
â€¢ The level of care training undertaken by staff
â€¢ The range of activities available to residents
â€¢ The quality of food
â€¢ The patient to carer ratio
The current system recognises care homes that have met the minimum standards of safety and quality of care, but gives no clue as to how good these facilities are.
Cynthia Bower, the CQCâ€™s chief executive, believes the new scheme will change this. She said:
“We do firmly believe that care providers should aspire to deliver the best possible outcomes. An excellence award can recognise best practice, be a spur to improvement for providers who already meet CQC’s essential standards, and can help people who need longer-term care to make choices.”