Lansley: 500 nursing homes face dignity and nutrition probes

Nutrition and patient dignity standards at 500 nursing homes are to be checked over the next six months, health secretary Andrew Lansley (pictured) said today.

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Nutrition and patient dignity standards at 500 nursing homes are to be checked over the next six months, health secretary Andrew Lansley said today.

It follows this month’s damning finding that one in five of the 100 hospitals inspected by the Care Quality Commission failed to comply with standards in either category.

Failings included curtains being left open while people received personal care, call buttons left out of patients’ reach and staff speaking to patients in a condescending or dismissive way.

The nursing home inspections would be happening anyway, but the regulator will now focus on their performance against the dignity and nutrition standards and produce an overview report on common themes.

Among social care services, nursing homes are least compliant with CQC standards, inspections from October 2010 to July 2011 revealed. However, the regulator emphasised these were “very early findings” because the standards came into force only last October.

As with the hospitals, people with experience of using services, recruited by Age UK, will be involved in the inspections of the nursing homes.

“The involvement of Age UK’s Experts by Experience will ensure that older people living in the care homes inspected will be engaged in the process of regulation and that their voices will be heard,” said Age UK’s charity director, Michelle Mitchell.

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