Staff and capacity shortfalls to blame for poor nursing home ratings

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

In a report compiled by David Behan (CQC chief executive), which has been submitted in advance of the CQC board meeting on 22 September, it states that 36% of nursing homes receive the rating of ‘requires improvement’ and 4% rated ‘inadequate’ which falls short of the average for the sector.

The reason for the poor performance of nursing homes is cited as the inability to attract and retain good nursing staff which has a significant impact on the ability to deliver a good quality service. With this inability to recruit and retain staff the reliance is more heavily based on short term agency workers who can fail to deliver outcomes that follow from a permanent workforce.

David Behan also states that the year to June 2016 has seen 73 care homes cancel their registration to provide regulated medical treatment- essentially removing them from the ability to provide nursing care. There were 72 such applications for the whole of 2015. It is also noted that the national capacity of nursing homes is now falling from 4,697 to 4,633 and there has been a corresponding reduction in the number of beds by around 700 to 224,000.

The Nursing Home market appears to be under intense pressure and it would appear to need support to provide adequate provision to the nation. Whilst these statistics are illuminating a solution to help buck the trend and see nursing homes achieving more favourable outcomes is needed.

It is important to note that CQC is failing to publish reports for adult social care within 50 working days of an inspection. Its target is 90% but is only achieving 78.4% at present this could suggest the issue of staff and capacity is not limited to the providers of social care but also its regulator.

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