People in care homes not having healthcare needs met

The report ‘Healthcare in care homes’ looked at whether residents of care homes are getting access to healthcare services, whether they have choice and control over their healthcare and whether the care they received was safe and respected their dignity.

The report found that access to some services was too variable. Despite care home residents having higher levels of dependence on services than the rest of the population, basic health needs were unmet in some areas. For example in just under forty percent of homes for older people, those who need an initial continence assessment wait more than two weeks for it, which is considered too long and is likely to have an impact on their welfare.

A quarter of residents did not feel they were offered a choice of male or female staff to help them use the toilet. Thirty-five percent of homes reported they had problems getting medicines to residents on time ‘sometimes’.

Staff at thirty-eight percent of care homes indicated GPs made routine visits and ten per cent of care homes said they paid for their GP surgeries to visit.

Inspection teams visited a small sample of care homes, interviewing managers, residents and staff, observing care and examining case files.

CQC director of operations Amanda Sherlock said: “The small sample size limits our ability to draw national-level conclusions. However, we will be using this review to help us identify problem areas and we’ll be looking at these issues in our upcoming inspection programme looking at dignity and nutrition in 500 care homes.

 “While we have identified good practice in areas, this review suggests some providers have fallen short of delivering effective care by considering the healthcare needs of residents as a secondary requirement.

“Despite having a disproportionately high level of dependence on health services, this group appears to be more disadvantaged than the rest of the population in accessing these services.”

Professor Finbarr Martin, president of the British Geriatric Society (BGS) president, said: “We are developing a series of materials and case studies to help commissioners to develop appropriate integrated services. We recommend that NICE considers the creation of quality standards to support this.”


Sourced from OnMedica, 7th March 2012.