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By Debbie le Quesne

CQC and its first dementia care review

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The Care Quality Commission will be carrying out unannounced inspections to review how people with dementia are cared for in England.

Some 150 homes and hospitals will be targeted over the coming months.

The commission says it will examine the care and support these services provide for people with dementia and establish what is working and what needs to improve,

CQC chief executive David Behan, reported in Caring Times, says there is a real need to explore why people with dementia may not be receiving high quality care, as well as how the different services work together.

The review – a first for the CQC – will address the key issues these people face, such as why admissions to hospital from care homes are higher for people who have dementia compared to those who do not have the condition.

“Our findings will draw conclusions on a national scale about what works well and where improvements are required,” Mr Behan is reported as saying.

Checks will zone in on:

  • How people living with dementia are supported to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing
  • How effective care can reduce admissions to hospital from care homes and avoid unnecessarily lengthy stays;
  • How care services can work together when there is a need for people to move between services.

By May the CQC will publish a report detailing its judgments. Meanwhile, the regulatory body is asking for people with dementia, or the relatives and friends of people with dementia to tell them about their experienced.

Carers comments are also valued. All feedback can be entered on CQC’s website or through Age UK, Dementia Action Alliance, Regional Voices, Dementia Advocacy Network and the Race Equality Foundation.

We are overburdened with regulation and now we have more – well, at least 150 service providers do. I would have hoped for a less invasive route, but there is a strong argument to support the unannounced approach. At least that way a realistic picture can be established.

It is, however, the providers – be they care homes, nursing homes or hospitals – for which I am concerned. What we don’t want are for those delivering below standard care to be hung out to dry. We have spent many hours trying to tear down the ‘us and them’ culture that has existed between CQC and care providers for many years and I wonder whether this spot-check technique will not undo some of the good work we have done. Trust takes a long, long time to build . . .

Was not a more co-operative approach considered? Let’s hope the review will bring some positive input into care, but at the risk of banging a very old drum, care excellence – especially dementia care – is a costly business.

Although we had Mr Cameron launch the dementia summit in December and pledges to deal with its catastrophic social implications, I am still awaiting financial resources to be improved to meet the challenges.

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