The variation in the quality and safety of care for conditions such as dementia in England is too wide and is unacceptable, a new report released by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reveal today. The report comes as the Department of Health reveal that unsafe care could be costing the NHS up to £2.5billion a year.
The CQC’s State of Care report finds significant variation in the quality of adult social care. In particular, people living in nursing homes tend to receive much poorer care than those living in residential care homes. The report also raises concerns about 15-minute home care appointments, and whether they can truly deliver care and support that is safe, caring, effective and responsive to people’s needs.
Alzheimer’s Society comment:
George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society said:
‘It is unacceptable that many people with dementia experience poor care in this day and age. There is a huge human and economic cost to unsafe care. Whilst much of the cost of poor care falls on families trying to ensure their loved ones are cared for, the taxpayer has to pick up the pieces too.
With one person developing dementia every three minutes we need to be investing more in care to keep people in their own homes and out of hospital. We also need a culture that places the person at the centre of their care and ensures all staff are dementia aware in order to move the idea of a system without poor care beyond rhetoric and into reality.’
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK says:
“ We welcome the fact that the report shows that care in some areas has improved and that the CQC is committed to improving services . However let’s not mince words about what some of the findings show – leaving someone in soiled beds or clothing for a long time or failing to ensure that an older person is able to eat or drink is neglect and should be treated as such.. The post code lottery of care continues to cause worry with no consistency as people living in different parts of the country with similar problems still receive different levels of support.
“Staff shortages are an area of real concern especially in nursing homes. Too few staff puts those who need care at a huge risk. This is particularly the case if skilled and experienced staff such as nurses or care home managers are not present.
” Providing care for older people must not be about completing tasks in whatever is the quickest or cheapest way. Decent care is about looking after a fellow human being in the way that we would like to be cared for when we are older.”