Staff unaware of meal requirements

Care home staff may be focusing too much on
the physical regulations of the new care standards at the expense
of other aspects of care, according to a survey by the Royal
Society for the Promotion of Health.

The survey of 150 care home staff finds that,
while many understood the new regulations on lifts, bedroom size
and ensuite bathrooms, fewer were aware of the new regulations
about meals.

Almost 90 per cent did not fully understand
standard 15 under which service users must be offered three full
meals each day, at least one of which must be cooked, at intervals
of not more than five hours.

Two-thirds thought that the regulations only
specified three meals a day and 10 per cent thought that there was
no minimum requirement at all.

Chief executive Hugh Lowson said it was easy
to see why care homes were worried about the “big budget items”
which were going to be difficult to comply with.

But he added: “Some of the least costly ones
may be the very ones that make the most difference to residents. We
hope that these will not be ignored while staff focus on the more
high profile problems.”

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