A Scarborough care home has been used in a major national report calling for an overhaul of the residential care sector in England.
St Cecilia’s care home in Stepney Road and in particular the way it uses new technology to help it look after residents, is highlighted in the Demos Commission on Residential Care.
Working in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council, the care home uses a number of electronic monitoring aids in rooms and communal areas throughout the home.
They monitor residents’ movements around the building and also check for things like incontinence, falls and residents getting out of bed during the night.
In Demos Commission report, the home’s use of Telecare equipment is given as an example of how new technology can be used to help provide modern care.
Jo Edmond, Head of Care at St Cecilia’s, said: “It is a great honour for St Cecilia’s to feature in a national publication and we are very pleased to have played our part in something that will hopefully have a beneficial effect on the future of residential care in this country.
“The use of monitoring equipment has certainly brought many positive benefits in terms of providing extra monitoring checks on the residents and also freeing up staff to spend more quality time with those residents too.”
The Demos Commission’s report, unveiled by former care minister Paul Burstow, says NHS Trusts should sell surplus land next to hospitals to build enough care homes and supported living apartments to meet ever-increasing demand for them.
Around 450,000 people live in care homes in England and with a rapidly ageing population, that number is rising. It is feared that the country is unprepared for this care “time bomb”.
Less than 40% of land held by NHS trusts is currently being used for medical buildings, so more than 5,000 hectares could be used for care accommodation, easing the strain on NHS hospital beds. Around 30% of acute hospital beds are filled with people who could be looked after in a care home.
The Demos Commission’s final report calls for incentives like quicker planning decisions and reduced purchase prices to sell surplus land to providers who are willing to reserve a percentage of space for state-funded care, or contribute to local authority services.
It also calls for care facilities to be co-located with educational institutions or community centres such as nursery groups or libraries.
Paul Burstow MP calls for a separation of housing and care costs along with the introduction of individual tenancy rights to give people moving into care homes the same security and rights as those moving into supported housing or care villages.
The report also recommends carrying out 20-year projections on demand for care, dropping the term ‘residential care’, requiring the Care Quality Commission to inspect care commissioners as well as providers, introducing a ‘licence to practise’ to ensure training for care workers, ensuring those working in care homes are paid a living wage and greater transparency from care providers on feedback and complaints.
The project alleviated the need to carry out frequent ‘just in case’ checks, for example in the event of incontinence, which can limit a person’s behaviour or cause anxiety. Early detection of incontinence also helps avoid skin problems. It has also given relatives extra reassurance that their loved ones are well cared for and getting more one to one interaction with staff.
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