The standard of care for older people living in care homes is to be improved with the publication of national minimum standards.
Health Minister John Hutton published the standards which will come into force in April 2002 and will improve the quality of care, increase protection of older people and guarantee consistent quality of care in care homes.
The minimum requirements are set out in seven areas:
l Choice of home: information to be provided l Health and personal care: ensure appropriate care is provided and dignity to be respected l Daily life and social activities: residents to be consulted about how services are provided and given more choice over day-to-day living arrangements such as meal times and social activities l Complaints and protection: rights of residents and relatives strengthened and more organised complaints procedure l Environment: ensure home is safe and well-maintained l Staffing: staff to be trained and undergo checks on recruitment l Management and administration: ensure managers are capable and responsible. By 2005, managers required to hold a relevant management qualification Hutton said: “For too long there has been a lack of coherence and consistency in the regulation of care homes. These minimum standards will change that.
“The government is working to develop a new concordat with the care home sector to improve the commissioning of long term care and maintain capacity and stability in the sector.”