New standards may cause inconsistency

Judgments about care services could become more inconsistent
following reforms to the national minimum standards, nursing home
owners were warned last week.

Proposals for standards to assess care quality rather than more
quantifiable processes could increase the subjectivity of judgments
said David Walden, of the Commission for Social Care Inspection, at
the Registered Nursing Home Association’s annual conference.

Walden, who is director of strategy, said it should be possible to
train people to report in a fair way what is good quality care.
“But you may get more inconsistency and that may be the price you
pay for a more subjective system.”

The proposals are part of the Department of Health’s review of
standards for adult services.

Delegates also heard they should take photos of any pressure sores
on residents before they are admitted to hospital to protect
themselves against adult protection inquiries.

RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said: “Worry about the
human rights afterwards. [You’ve got to] protect number one.” He
said pressure sores were cited as evidence of neglect by homes,
despite the fact they may originate in hospitals.

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