Care home qual­ity is low­est in re­gion

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - Abi­gail.donoghue@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @@abidonoghuee

ABI­GAIL DONOGHUE

CARE homes in Hal­ton are the joint worst in the re­gion, ac­cord­ing to a BBC anal­y­sis, with 32% of Hal­ton care homes rated as below stan­dard by the Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion (CQC).

How­ever, the con­sis­tency of the CQC rat­ing sys­tem has been crit­i­cised.

A poor rat­ing has left some providers un­able to ob­tain in­sur­ance or bank fund­ing, which can lead to clo­sures.

The CQC uses four rat­ings: out­stand­ing, good, re­quires im­prove­ment or in­ad­e­quate. In­spec­tors rate homes on whether their ser­vices are safe, ef­fec­tive, car­ing, re­spon­sive and well-led.

In Hal­ton, cur­rently eight of its 25 care homes rated by CQC are ei­ther in­ad­e­quate or re­quir­ing im­prove­ment, mak­ing it the joint worst per­form­ing area along with Salford.

St Luke’s Care Home, ● Run­corn run by Com­mu­nity In­te­grated Care, was one of the homes marked as in­ad­e­quate.

Richard Whitby, di­rec­tor of older peo­ple’s ser­vices at CIC, told the Weekly News: “We have worked closely with CQC and the Qual­ity As­sur­ance Team at Hal­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil to give the ser­vice fo­cused sup­port in all nec­es­sary ar­eas.

“As part of this work, all care plan­ning doc­u­men­ta­tion has been up­dated, and a thor­ough re­view of staff train­ing needs has taken place. All re­port­ing is­sues have been re­solved, and we are mod­ernising the way in which we de­liver med­i­ca­tion.”

“Com­mu­nity In­te­grated Care is pas­sion­ately com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing con­di­tions for those sup­ported by, and work­ing within, the so­cial care sec­tor. We are proud to have re­cently launched our new five-year strat­egy which clearly sets out our am­bi­tions to pub­licly ad­vo­cate for change in these key ar­eas by in­flu­enc­ing Gov­ern­ment at a na­tional level and cam­paign­ing for more fund­ing, sup­port and recog­ni­tion of the sec­tor as a whole.”

Across Eng­land nearly 3,000 of the coun­try’s 14,975 care homes are cur­rently rated below stan­dard. How­ever, some providers have crit­i­cised the CQC in­spec­tors, claim­ing some are not suit­ably qual­i­fied. They also say in­spec­tions can be ‘rid­dled with in­ac­cu­ra­cies’ and felt it is un­fair that there was no in­de­pen­dent body to which they can ap­peal against a judge­ment.

Nadra Ahmed, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Na­tional Care As­so­ci­a­tion, told the BBC: “Re­gional vari­a­tions in the num­bers of strug­gling homes re­flected in­con­sis­ten­cies in the CQC in­spec­tion regime and the greater dif­fi­cul­ties some ar­eas have in re­cruit­ing staff. What we know at the mo­ment is that ser­vices in the North are more chal­lenged than in the South.”

She also said she wished she could say there was con­sis­tency among in­spec­tors but can­not, say­ing ‘this is a chal­lenge for the CQC to recog­nise’.

A CQC spokesman said: “Peo­ple can be re­as­sured that most care homes in Eng­land are meet­ing the mum test – care we would be happy for any­one to re­ceive, qual­ity rat­ings data demon­strates peo­ple’s ex­pe­ri­ences of care can vary across the coun­try mean­ing this is not the case for every­one. The vari­abil­ity con­tin­ues to per­sist and is a real con­cern. When­ever we rate a ser­vice or take any form of en­force­ment ac­tion we will al­ways clearly state the ev­i­dence on which these have been based and providers have the op­por­tu­nity to chal­lenge these as part of our fac­tual ac­cu­racy pol­icy.

St Luke’s Care Home

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