Elderly Care Homes Failing to Meet CQC Standards Due to being Under Staffed

How do the CQC inspect UK care homes?

Patients and families will feel comforted by the news that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are undertaking the most rigorous and detailed inspection regime to date to ensure that care homes for the elderly are meeting demanding national standards.  The Care Quality Commission carry out unannounced inspections of all UK care homes, assessing them across many dimensions of care including staffing levels, training provision, medicine management and the provision of individual care plans.  If a care home is not adequately meeting one of more of the national standards, the local authority has 28 days to submit a plan to improve.  The CQC will then follow this up with further unannounced inspections.  A lack of improvement will result in a fine at the very least or indeed even recommended closure in the most serious of cases (http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/cqc-fines-oxfordshire-care-home-%C2%A34000-failure-meet-national-standards)

What are the staffing issues in UK care homes?

Regulation 22 of the National Standards requires that a care home is taking the appropriate steps to ensuring they have enough suitably qualified staff to meet the needs of their residents or patients.  Amongst other standards, many UK care homes are failing to meet this regulation.  For some it is simply an issue of staff shortages or rapid staff turnover.  In part this is thought to be due to low wages and people moving on to further training and employment within nursing.  Another key issue is a lack of specialist staff trained in dealing with specific needs such as dementia, stroke patients and learning difficulties.

What are care homes doing to improve staffing levels?

The great news is that care homes are really focusing on their staff.  Job seekers looking to enter the care profession today should expect to receive a comprehensive training package and a competitive wage.  Many centers are also investing in specialist training for staff at all levels as the complexity of needs in the nation’s care homes increases.  It is hoped that such investments will result in a workforce equipped to maintain the happiness and dignity of our elderly population, now and in the future.

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