Headlines: November 9th, 2009

The key to delivering quality care for older and disabled people is investment in staff and leadership, according to research published today. A report from the National Care Forum and Counsel and Care shows the most highly rated services spend a fifth more on staff training and management.

Today’s report, ‘The real cost of quality care and support’, has been produced in response to the Green Paper on the future funding of care. The two organisations point to the need for more resources to fund better quality care. The report says some local authorities are paying care providers as little as 315 pounds for a care home place. That, they say, is not enough to deliver quality care with costs rising as they are. Some providers are able to spend three times as much on meals for residents as others.

The report says the key factors behind better care include effective leadership and management, valuing and rewarding staff and service innovation and new ways of working. It says care services with high star ratings spend up to 20 per cent more on staff and their training, development and management, as well as putting service users at the centre of everything they do. Not-for-profit providers consistently get better quality ratings.

Des Kelly, the Executive Director of National Care Forum, said: “Our members, as not-for-profit care providers, have consistently demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement and service development. The survey was undertaken in order to gain a better understanding of the true cost of delivering good quality care and support services.” For Counsel and Care, chief executive Stephen Burke said valuing care meant valuing those who provided it.