No hiding place for care homes

No hiding place for care homes

The Serious Case Review into the Orchid View care home in Copthorne, which was launched following the deaths of 19 people, identified numerous failings.

One of the recommendations that came out of the report was that a threshold should be developed for informing the public about significant safeguarding issues and concerns that have been raised at homes.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) - the care industry watchdog and regulator - website already provides some information for people searching for a care home.

New inspection ratings

The CQC is moving to a new inspection model and will rate services according to how safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led they are, using four levels:

The four levels are:

·         Outstanding – the service is performing exceptionally well.

·         Good - the service is performing well and meeting the CQC's expectations.

·         Requires improvement – the service isn't performing as well as it should and the CQC have told the care home how it must improve.

·         Inadequate – the service is performing badly and we've taken enforcement action against the provider of the service.

There is a fifth status of 'no rating/under appeal/rating suspended', which means the CQC was unable to rate some services or that ratings might be under appeal from the provider. A 'suspended rating' is one that's under review by the CQC.

Improving reporting and transparency

As well as details about inspections, the CQC's revamped website now includes a very prominent section entitled Share your experience. Comments can be made by anyone about the many services within the CQC's remit, which will then be passed to their inspection teams.

Share good news stories

While the service is primarily designed to alert the inspectors to concerns about poor care, it can also be used to pass on comments about good care.

One care home owner I know of has recently installed a laptop in their reception area, with the CQC website link to Share your experience left open as its home page. When a resident, relative or visitor makes a positive comment verbally, they are encouraged to tell the CQC then and there.

This transparency has been welcomed because, even if people don’t post a comment, it shows there is a culture of openness with nothing to hide.

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