السبت , مايو 15 2021

Plan to tackle failing care homes

A system of special measures designed to improve failing hospitals in England is to be extended to care homes, the government is expected to announce.

The process was introduced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) a year ago at 11 failing trusts.

Most have since made progress – although only five have been or are being taken out of special measures.

A similar scheme will be introduced for care homes and home care agencies next year, ministers will say.

That will cover 25,000 services and could lead to the closure of those that fail to improve.

The system is not expected to start until April as the ratings regime it is based on will only be rolled out in the social care system from the autumn.

The ratings, based on a system first used in schools, give health and care services a rating of outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

High-risk

In the future the failure regime may also be rolled out to GP surgeries.

It started last year in the hospital sector with those rated inadequate being placed in special measures.

The first 11 trusts placed in special measures came after a government-commissioned review of high-risk hospitals following the public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal.

Since then another six hospital trusts have been placed in special measures after critical inspections.

Steps taken include closer scrutiny by regulators, management changes, buddying schemes with successful trusts and an improvement director being parachuted in to oversee any changes that need to be made.

Ministers will hail the process a success – even though not all of the 11 original trusts identified as failing have improved enough to leave special measures.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will say the Stafford Hospital scandal was a “wake-up call” for the NHS.

“Thanks to a sharp focus on admitting problems rather than burying heads in the sand, some of these hospitals have tackled their deep-rooted failings for the first time and are on the road to recovery.”

Prof Sir Mike Richards, CQC chief inspector of hospitals, said: “We have achieved a great deal in the last twelve months.”

Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents hospital trusts, said: “Changing the culture in an organisation – and the outcomes it delivers – is never easy.

“The staff and the leadership teams at each of these organisations should be proud of the progress they have made over the past 12 months in improving patient care.”

Special measures: the original 11

Trust

Current situation

Basildon and Thurrock

Out of special measures

George Eliot, Nuneaton

Recommended to come out of special measures

Buckinghamshire Healthcare

Out of special measures with continuing support

East Lancashire

Out of special measures with continuing support

North Lincolnshire and Goole

Recommended to come out of special measures with continuing support

United Lincolnshire

Progress but recommended to stay in for at least six months

North Cumbria

Progress but recommended to stay in for at least six months

Tameside

Progress but recommended to stay in for at least six months

Medway

No progress and recommended to be kept in special measures

Burton

No decision yet

Sherwood Forest

No decision yet

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