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Lack of dignity for care home residents

Lack of dignity for care home residents


Commissioners have been urged to “raise the standards” of care for older people, as a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report reveals a drop in quality of care.

People are not being given enough dignity, privacy or food at care homes the Dignity and Nutrition Inspection report has revealed. 

The report said: “Those involved in planning, commissioning and delivering care should learn from what works well and increase their focus on ensuring that people are shown respect.”

No ‘support’

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 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.”

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. 



as a care home owner, registered MH nurse and member of the NiP advisory board I read this report with a combination of frustration and determination
- frustration linked to a defensiveness about the work we are doing in our homes - which whilst not perfect in how we look after very old vulnerable people many with BPSD, is making great strides to embed kindness and protected dignity, privacy and humour in how we cheer up and trend to the wants and needs of our old people.
- determination linked to the work we are doing in Devon developing a quality kite mark for residential care that is evidence based, led by like minded energised residential care providers working in a very pressured and challenging environment not least to do with chronic underfunding and a good deal of critical external scrutiny.

we are showcasing our Kite mark work again at the upcoming SW Dementia network in Taunton on the 27th March - and i am often presenting this work in detail and its impact - please get in touch and lets react to this type of report with balance and a renewed shared care approach where we can share risk and make sure we are all pulling together in order to better meet the needs of older people needing better holistic care contact me if you wish -

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