By Debbie le Quesne

Good homes awareness is key rather than ‘minimum standards’

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A well-respected former Dudley care commissioner has added his comments to the debate on the new measures to improve failing care homes.

Mike Marshall RGN, RMN, MIHM, Dip.HSM, who paved the way for the West Midlands borough to up its care standards, says the Care Quality Commission proposals mirrors a former National Minimum Standards of Care ratings initiative.

But this system “failed to work, so few home reached satisfactory standards of care,” says Mr Marshall.

“As a Local Authority Social Care Commissioner of many years standing I

regularly identified care homes of poor standards.  These were often

recognised by CQC in something called the Local Area Market Analyser (LAMA).

“Nothing was done to address poor standards by CQC apart from issuing

‘threatening notices’ that would have to be adjudged by ‘CQC’ legal teams

rather than those directly involved.

“One such home I was monitoring singularly met none of the standards of care and CQC were wary of taking action pending ‘legal team’ involvement.  

“My solution to this was to involve two other local authority councils with social care responsibility to revoke the contracts for placement.  This involved the safe movement of many residents to enter other care homes.

“Despite concerns for resident health and safety there were no untoward issues associated with the moves.

“There are indeed good and excellent care homes that the public should be

aware of, rather than the ‘meeting of minimum standards – or not.”

Brave stand, Mike, but very true!


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