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Lack of dignity for care home residents

20 March 2013

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People are not being given enough dignity, privacy or food at care homes, a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report has revealed. 
Managers and staff at one in six care homes did not use doors or screens when providing personal care, used inappropriate words or manners and failed to find out how people preferred to be cared for. 
Older people living in one in six care homes inspected by the CQC were talked to inappropriately and did not have somewhere secure to keep their possessions. 
According to the Dignity and Nutrition Inspection report, one in six care homes were not supporting people to eat and drink enough. 
“This is basic care and getting it right can transform a stressful experience for an older person into a supportive and caring one,” said CQC chief executive David Behan. 
He said: “Safe, good quality care is not complex or time-consuming. Effective leadership and staff who feel supported make this happen every day.” 
The report based on 500 CQC inspections revealed homes that provide nursing care were almost 10% less likely to respect residents. 
Homes that provide nursing care were more likely to fail to meet the staffing standard (15%) than those that do not (12%). 
‘Optional extras’ 
The report showed that two-thirds of care homes meet the five standards for good care, but Royal College of Nursing (RCN) chief executive Dr Peter Carter does not believe this is enough. 
“If your relative is in the third that do not meet all of those standards, you will know that they are not optional extras. 
“We all want our relatives to have dignified care, nutrition, adequate staff to look after them, good record-keeping and proper safeguarding procedures, and these should now be the norm.”
Homes that recorded people’s opinions about their care were more likely to involve people (91%) than those that did not (41%). 
Care homes that recorded food and drink preferences were more likely to give people a choice (88%) than those that had not (41%). 
Behan noted that in many cases care had improved in care homes since last years’ report. 
He added: “However, it is disappointing people are still not being given enough privacy when receiving personal care and that they are left alone when they call for help.”
A full copy of the Dignity and Nutrition Inspection 2012 can be found on the CQC website.