Norman Lamb comments on personalisation of care homes

The Care Minister, Norman Lamb, has stated that care homes should furnish resident’s rooms with their own furniture, curtains and bed spreads to ‘civilise’ institutions and ensure familiarity with their surroundings.

Mr Lamb said “The whole focus needs to be on personalising care as much as possible.  For everyone, but particularly with dementia, it is particularly important to focus on things that are familiar to enable people to create a link back to their life before entering a care home.  A willingness to take a bit of furniture, bedspreads, curtains, whatever it might be that creates that link can be incredibly important in civilising care homes and making them a real home for someone, rather than an austere alien environment.

Having your own possessions can be critical in reassuring someone with dementia and in making them feel at home.  Flexibility has to be the key – and whatever works for that individual that’s what the care home ought to focusing on.  We are introducing these much more robust inspections and ratings of care homes and I think those care homes that create a real sense of an individual’s home will be the ones who get the greater ratings.”

CQC’s new inspection regime, due to come into force in October 2014, has an increased focus on personalised care.  The new regime is focused on asking 5 key questions – is the service safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led.  In addition, the new fundamental standards of care, due to come into force for care homes in April 2015, are intended to be more focused and clear about the care that people should always expect to receive.  The new regulations will also allow CQC to take more robust enforcement action when providers are considered to be falling below the fundamental standards of care.

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