New standards for young adults` care homes

Health minister Jacqui Smith has launched new minimum standards
for young adults’ care homes, writes Katie

The standards, which apply to care homes for adults under 65 and
adult placements, have been amended following a consultation

The changes acknowledge that the standards aimed at making the
care home environment more like a family home are not always
appropriate in the short-term accommodation sector. Instead of a
single room as originally proposed, residents in treatment centres
often prefer to share with a friend who can provide support.

Smith said that the government received a lot of feedback on the
standards. “Whenever people made a good case to us we listened, and
I am confident that we acted on all the views and have a set of
standards that reflect those views,” she said.

The 43 standards for younger adults’ care homes will apply
to homes in England that provide accommodation and personal or
nursing care to people 18-65. There are also 30 standards for adult
placements done through an adult placement scheme in the family
home of an adult placement carer.

The standards, most of which come into force in April 2002,
apply to currently registered residential and nursing homes and to
all new facilities requiring registration as care homes. They also
apply to local authority care homes.

Main changes:

The draft standards suggested that new homes should accommodate
up to 16 people in groups of 8. The final standards have raised the
limits to 20 and groups of 10.

Instead of one toilet for each two people and one bathroom for
each three adjacent to the bedrooms, the final standards state that
the facilities should be near to bedrooms and can be shared by
three people. Homes have been given until 2004, a further two
years, to reach this standard.

The draft standards proposed that all residents should be
offered a single room and that shared accommodation should be
phased out by 2004. The final standards allow 16 and 17-year-olds
to share rooms in specialist colleges, and recognise the clinical
need for sharing rooms in the substance misuse treatment




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