Report on care homes to be put under the spotlight

A SCRUTINY panel is set to consider a series of recommendations to improve the standards of care homes in Calderdale.

Members meeting on Wednesday will consider the findings of a working party which has spent the past year taking an in-depth look at standards of care in homes across the borough.

The working party focused particularly on those homes rated "poor" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and held discussions with individuals, professional bodies and care home owners and managers to gain their views.

The report makes four key recommendations:

Robust multi-agency safeguarding arrangements for intervening in failing homes, and protecting the affected residents should be maintained;

Closer working with the National Care Association and other similar bodies to drive up standards, with specific emphasis on those care homes rated "poor". One way to achieve this would be through better training, particularly the ability of care homes' staff to stimulate and motivate care home residents;

Continued development of joint working and sharing of best practice and innovation with partners, especially NHS Calderdale;

Appointment of lay representatives to undertake site visits to care homes and for them to provide independent reports back to the directorate on their findings and recommendations for possible improvements.

Consideration should also be given to the future potential role of Calderdale Local Involvement Network (LINk) and the advocacy services in helping to raise care quality standards through future visits to care homes.

Scrutiny panel chairman Coun Ruth Goldthorpe said: "Residents in care homes are among our most vulnerable citizens. Scrutiny panel convened this working party in response to members' concerns about how standards of care, particularly in homes found to be 'poor' could be improved.

"This report is a major piece of work which has taken an in-depth look into ways that standards could be improved in care homes across Calderdale."

The panel will then make recommendations to the Cabinet.