Worrying when you read about poor care homes
DURING November, I plan to visit a number of care homes in my constituency. When people make the choice of moving into a care home, rather than living independently, it may be triggered by a general deterioration in health.
It is not always a choice which is made to a plan, but comes about because the person realises it is difficult to continue to live independently.
There will be those who can draw on the help of families or carers, to meet their increased needs for care, but this may not always be possible. The choice may have to be made so that the individual can have the care and support available from a residential home.
We have a range of excellent care homes in South Buckinghamshire, where people have access to good personal care and where there are networks so that GPs and hospitals are geared up to meet the medical needs of the residents.
It gave me concern to read the findings of a report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in mid-October, which reviewed care for people with dementia. It concluded that people who move between care homes and hospitals risk receiving poor care.
That is a worrying issue and I am sure that constituents who have looked at this study will share my view that the risk must be reduced, with a consistent standard of care for all patients.
The CQC has the task of regulating and inspecting health and social care and is building up knowledge of how to meet the needs of those who are living with dementia. It is right that they should, so that the individuals concerned, their families and their carers know that they are receiving the best treatment.
The Health Secretary pointed out recently that the NHS is driving up standards, by making sure that staff get the right training and by making the necessary adaptations to wards.