Failing England Care Homes Risk Being Shut Down

Every care home in England is to be inspected and rated in a new drive to prevent abuse and neglect of residents.

All 25,000 care homes and homecare services will be assessed by the Care Quality Commission, starting in October.

And from April next year, those rated as inadequate face being put into special measures.

If they fail to improve care within a set time limit they could be closed down.

The move follows the success of a turnaround programme in hospitals identified last year by NHS England as having a high death rate.

Details released by the Department of Health show that of 11 hospitals that were put into special measures, five have improved to such an extent that they have now been cleared, or are expected to be shortly.

Another four have made significant improvements but are expected to be kept under special measures for another six months. A decision on the final two is expected later this week.

Chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “We have seen significant improvements in almost all of the 11 trusts that were put into special measures, with exceptional progress in two trusts and very good progress in a further three.

“The hard work by trust staff that has underpinned this progress should be recognised.

“Special measures brings a new focus on quality improvement in trusts which have previously struggled to provide high quality care.”

The failing hospitals were paired up with successful NHS Trusts to implement an action plan for improving care.

Overall, they recruited 603 more nurses, 721 nursing support staff and 101 doctors.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Mid Staffs was a wake-up call which uncovered how staff in a minority of isolated hospitals believed poor care was somehow normal and acceptable.

“Thanks to a sharp focus on admitting problems rather 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.

“Everybody wants to know they can get safe, compassionate care from their local hospital.”

Tom Sandford, of the Royal College of Nursing, added: “Staffing levels must never again be dictated by finances rather than patient need.

“Getting staffing levels right will ensure that patients receive the care they deserve.”

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