Headlines: December 3rd, 2009

A national charity says it still has major concerns about the quality of care provided to vulnerable older people living in homes. Counsel and Care is raising the issue today as the Care Quality Commission’s first report into adult social care services in England shows general standards getting better.

The charity points to the fact that just under a quarter of homes for older people are still providing care that is of a poor or only adequate standard rated as one or no stars. Almost a fifth of care services overall, remain poor or adequate and the Commission highlights record keeping, medication, service user care plans and staff supervision as areas needing urgent attention.

Counsel and Care also singles out the fact that improvement in the provision of social contact and activities in a care home has increased by only eight per cent since 2003, which it says shows there is a long way to go before care homes across England can be judged as person-centred. It is also concerned that the Commission’s review of council performance also shows that a quarter of local authorities could do more to ensure service users get personalised care.

The charity’s Chief Executive, Stephen Burke, said the Commission’s report showed that in spite of the improvements the standard of care experienced by many vulnerable older people was still completely inadequate. He added: “More work needs to be done by local councils and care providers to ensure that personalised services become a reality for all older people and carers regardless of whether they live at home or in a care home, including access to good information and advice.”