Care homes struggle to provide good care for sick residents

Care homes are struggling to provide high quality care for residents with complex medical conditions, a report by the Royal College of Nursing has warned.

Care homes are struggling to provide high quality care for residents with complex medical conditions, a report by the Royal College of Nursing has warned.

A survey of members found nurses working in care homes are facing huge challenges in providing care against a background of cuts and equipment shortages.

Nearly 40 per cent of RCN members said there were not enough full-time registered nurses employed to provide suitable care.

The report, Persistent Challenges to Providing Quality Care, identifies a lack of training for staff, inappropriate admissions and extreme pressure on the workforce leading to poor staff morale.

RCN general secretary Dr Peter Carter said: “This report paints a hugely concerning picture about the many daily challenges that so many nurses in care homes face in delivering high quality care. Many of these challenges are not new, but following years of underinvestment these issues have now significantly worsened.

“When nearly two in five nurses say there are not enough nurses to meet the needs of residents, then you know that this is a worrying state of affairs.”

The college has recommended a re-evaluation of how funding is allocated to care homes; the introduction of national guidance on staffing levels; a government review of workforce planning in care homes; and regulation of all healthcare assistants.

Care services minister Paul Burstow has admitted changes are needed to the social care system. A government White Paper on social care is set to be published this spring.

Burstow said: “We’re making the system more joined up with health and focusing on helping people maintain their independence for as long as possible.

“The White Paper will bring clarity to what quality care in social care looks like. It will seek to empower everyone involved in social care to play their part in ensuring high quality care for all.”

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