Care system reform needs to be faster

Campaigners are demanding that the government sets a timetable for
improving the care home system for older people.

It follows critcism of the government’s response to an Office of
Fair Trading report on care homes for its “lack of urgency” in
bringing about change.

Les Bright, former chair of the Social Policy Ageing Information
Network (Spain), a consortium of 28 charities, said: “The
government has failed to set an action plan in their response. They
must set times and dates for meeting recommendations, with
immediate action for recommendations which are cost-neutral.”

Spain lodged a “super-complaint” about the care home market to the
OFT in 2003, resulting in an inquiry in May this year.

Campaigners also said the government had failed to address the
problems faced by self-funded older people, after the OFT report
found that legislation and guidance on this group were
“inconsistently” applied.

Care home advice body NHFA accused the government of “paying
lip-service” to the report.

Pauline Thompson, a spokesperson for Spain, urged the Department of
Health to play a greater role in ensuring local authorities
implemented guidance on care homes.

She said: “The DH needs to provide leadership in ensuring older
people are protected.”

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