Poor care and medical accidents don’t just occur in hospitals. There can often be issues arising in relation to the care of the elderly or disabled in care homes – as can be seen from the numerous reports in the media of inadequate provision of care in these institutions.
Since 2011 care homes have been regulated and monitored by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regardless of whether they are provided by the NHS, Local Health Authorities, private companies or voluntary organisations. The CQC aims to review each care home every 2 years and more reviews are undertaken if there are concerns at any one establishment. For the most part the visits are unannounced. In July 2014 it was announced that the “special measures” regime that applies to hospitals would be extended to cover care homes also. The initiative was created to trouble shoot failing hospital trusts but was rolled out to include care homes and homecare trusts.
Many people may have seen the Panorama investigation into the Old Deanery Care Home in Braintree Essex, where it was alleged in early 2014 that residents were receiving poor care. Following the BBC’s investigation one member of staff was sacked and seven others suspended. After a visit by the CQC in July 2014 Inspectors criticised the poor care given at the home and said that it was failing in eight out of the nine key areas they inspected.