Advising with empathy and experience

Failing care homes.


NEARLY half of all care homes fall below expected standards, according to a damning assessment by the official regulator.

The Government’s chief inspector of care homes claims four in 10 care homes do not meet regulations, while one in three social care facilities is rated as requiring improvement and an additional seven per cent are rated ‘inadequate’.

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) chief inspector for adult social care, Andrea Sutcliffe, said a combination of funding cuts, rising costs and increasing demand has placed an enormous strain on social care providers.

She said: ‘There are concerns about safety and leadership, and many nursing homes are struggling. There is too much variation. Nearly 60 per cent are good, or outstanding, but a third require improvement and seven per cent are inadequate.

‘In this climate, it is critical that local services’ responses to financial pressures do not increase risks to people’s health, safety and wellbeing.’

The head of a major independent review of the social care system, Dame Kate Barker, said that the government will face a ‘public outcry’ when the impact of the care home crisis is fully realised.

She said that thousands of elderly people risk enduring a ‘miserable’ end to their lives because of a government U-turn on capping care costs.

Local authorities claim they have already lost £4.6bn from social care budgets since 2010 and the Government’s decision to raise the minimum wage to £9 an hour by 2020 will only worsen the situation by adding to staffing costs.

Head of private equity firm, Terra Firma, which owns Four Seasons, Britain’s biggest care home provider, Guy Hands, has warned that a quarter of his care homes were making a loss and would have to close down unless the Government eased financial pressure on the industry.