Hull City Council gets tough on residential care

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

Hull City Council has stated that it wishes to get tough on residential care homes whose standards don’t meet its own high levels.

The local authority is largely happy with the standards of care at the services it’s 2,197 residents are housed. However, this hasn’t stopped the authority attempting to drive standards to the highest levels for those homes where it places residents.

Issues such as low staffing levels within nursing homes, designed to reduce the salary bill often at the expense of patient care, will not be accepted by the authority. The council is encouraging families and loved ones of those in care to be their ‘eyes and ears’ and report bad practice back to the authority so that it can investigate further.

Cllr Helena Spencer, portfolio holder for adult social services in Hull said: –

“The majority or our care homes are good or ok and it’s the minority causing the problems; but people should know we want every home to not just be ok, but to be good or outstanding.”

This very much echoes the rhetoric of the CQC and demonstrates the lengths to which local authorities often rely on the regulator’s ratings on homes. A number of councils have a policy which stops them placing in homes that are rated ‘requires improvement’ or below. The argument remains that on occasion the reason care homes lack the facilities or staff required to perform an admirable job is due to the local authority failing to meet the costs of the care provider.

No one doubts the need to demand the highest standards but one should realise that often to get the best you have to pay for it- which far too often local authorities are reluctant to do.

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