Owners call for cash to improve meals

More funding for dietary advice in care homes for older people is needed to improve meals, residential care providers have said.

Frank Ursell, chief executive of the Registered Nursing Home Association, made the call after a report showed one in six care homes were still failing to meet the national minimum standards for meals. This is down from 22 per cent two years ago, said the report by the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

Ursell said if the government was serious about enhancing residential care for older people, it should “put its money where its mouth is” and provide more funding for dietary advice.

The report found that private care homes were less likely to meet the standards than those run by voluntary providers and councils, and that cost-cutting and limited staff knowledge could contribute to poor food quality.

Ursell said failure to meet standards was more likely to be caused by a lack of support and knowledge than by cost-cutting. He said homes could not save any more money on meal costs, pointing out they spent an estimated average of £2.43 per person a day on food.

Highlight of the Day? Improving Meals for Older People in Care Homes from www.csci.org.uk

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