According to official figures from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), record numbers of care homes have been given official warnings over standards of care in the last 12 months.
The health watchdog issued over 900 urgent improvement notices to UK care homes over the last year, which is a worrying rise of 43 per cent compared to the 600 notices handed out the year before.
These warnings are issued to care homes in which standards are deemed unacceptable, or where illegal failings are uncovered by CQC inspectors. Amongst the problems which led to this year’s 900 notices being handed out were:
• Staff falsifying medical records
• Failures to investigate allegations of abuse
• Residents left in “extremely dirty” surroundings
• Residents at risk from scalding water
• Call bells not working, forcing elderly residents to have to shout for assistance
• Rooms left unheated during cold months
• Residents missing medication or being given medicine at the wrong times
• A resident suffering a fall after shouting for help to get to the toilet
In many cases, better care training for staff members is obviously required, whilst in others an entire overhaul of policies and practices seems to be the only way to bring standards of cares up to the required level.
Commenting on the latest figures, the Saga Group’s new director general Dr Ros Altmann said:
“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”.