Safety in care homes: CQC report highlights significant issues

A recent report by the Care Quality Commission has highlighted significant variations in the standard of safety in care homes across the UK, with one in four care homes being declared unsafe.

The report, which inspected all registered adult social care providers in the UK, also found that a third of residential nursing homes are considered inadequate in providing acceptable levels of care.

As essential cogs in the social care system, care and nursing homes should play a vital role in safeguarding vulnerable adults by providing relevant, safe care.

However, as the CQC report has demonstrated, there can be large disparities in the system. As a result, it is extremely important to consider safety in care homes when choosing one for a relative.

What to consider when choosing a care home

 

Look at the CQC rating

The rating attributed by the CQC to the individual care home is one of the best ways to determine if it is a safe and caring environment.

Inspectors will ensure that safe and appropriate care is being provided consistently before awarding a ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ rating.

You can visit the CQC website to search for a specific care home to see its most recent inspection rating here.

 

Use your instinct

CQC officials commenting on the report highlighted the importance of instinct when selecting a care home.

As Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC recommended: “Ask yourself, does this feel like a home or an institution?”

Considering this question and using your own instinct are key ways of ensuring that you feel comfortable with your relative living there.

Speaking to managers and staff about their role in the home and their levels of interaction with residents can often provide an insight into the environment, and the setup of the home.

Safety in care homes: key features

As highlighted in the report, it’s clear that ensuring safety in care homes is paramount, and although safety standards are often strictly maintained, it can be particularly worrying when they’re not.

An essential component of safety in care homes is properly trained and vetted care staff.

Indeed, the report highlights that part of the problem with issues surrounding care home quality is a lack of confirmation of employee’s qualifications and experience as part of the recruitment process.

Consequently, DBS checks can play a vital role in helping to ensure safety in care homes, by confirming whether an employee has a criminal record.

Completing these checks should be a mandatory process for all employees working within the home, whether they’re providing care or not.

If care homes complete these checks they will be taking a significant step towards ensuring safe and appropriate care is being provided.

How can care homes request DBS checks?

Care homes can request DBS checks through a registered body such as uCheck. Any care home registered with us will have access to our online HR platform, allowing them to request their checks online in a simple application form.

With an average turnaround time of 48 hours, the majority of checks can be completed quickly and accurately, meaning fewer delays in the recruitment process.

Interested in applying for DBS checks? Click here to register, or get in touch to find out more.