The Government has announced that failing care homes could be put into a similar failure regime as occurs with poorly performing hospitals.
Health minister Jeremy Hunt confirmed that most of the hospital trusts that were put into special measures a year ago have shown significant improvements and that for his reason the initiative will be rolled out to include care homes and home-care services. Importantly if these services fail to make improvements then they face the prospect of being closed down. Putting hospital trusts in special measures was a move introduced as part of the government’s response to the Stafford hospital scandal.
Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust was at the centre of a major public inquiry after it was found that poor care could have led to the deaths of hundreds of patients as a result of maltreatment and neglect. The inquiry highlighted the“appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people” at the trust and probes into the events there revealed that many patients were left lying in their own urine and excrement for days, forced to drink water from vases or given the wrong medication.
It will be remembered that in 2013 following a review into 14 other hospital trusts with higher than expected death rates, 11 trusts were put into special measures for a catalogue of failings and fundamental breaches of care.
The change has been re-iterated by the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) chief inspector of hospitals, Prof Sir Mike Richards, who has said that since the trusts were put into the failure regime, most have shown major improvements in leadership, patient safety, compassionate care and staff engagement.
Prof Richards has also confirmed the rollout of the scheme into care homes and home-care services on behalf of the CQC and that from October 2014 these services across England will face a “tough” new inspection regime with the services that are rated inadequate being put into special measures and should they fail to make improvements they could be shut down.
Gotelee solicitors welcome the new approach that is being adopted in making our care and nursing homes safer places.
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