Bad news always travels faster than good. And it grabs the headlines. Because of high profile stories in the national press you could easily get the impression that good care homes are hard to find. The reality is different, and much more positive.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspects all adult social services providers. Findings are categorised into four levels: outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate.
To be rated as good or outstanding, care homes must demonstrate high standards for how they are run, the capabilities of the care team and standards of person-centred care they deliver. Over 80% of residential care homes are rated as good or outstanding.
Smaller Homes Perform Better
The other common perception is that care homes are run by large faceless companies. Some are, most are not. There are thousands of smaller homes that are often family run businesses owned by people take great pride in the standards of care they deliver.
CQC data shows 85 percent of services catering for 1-50 people were rated as good or outstanding, compared with 73 percent of larger services for 101-250 people.
The size of the care or nursing home seems to make a significant difference to the standard of care you could expect to receive.
This is probably because a smaller number of residents makes it easier to shape services around each individual. For example, therapies can be incorporated into care programmes to help individual residents lead fuller lives.
This extends to activities that help residents remain active and engaged; these are essential for promoting physical and emotional wellbeing.
It might also be that in smaller homes we have more time to interact with each individual. We are better able to notice any changes to their state or mind or health and to make changes to their care plan accordingly.
If you are looking for residential care for yourself or a relative the news may be better than you imagine. There are many good care homes and there’s plenty of information available online to help you make the best choice.