Big care providers to start publishing performance data

Nine large care providers, including Barchester Healthcare and Bupa, have pledged to produce information on performance as part of an initiative to help service users make decisions about their care.

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Nine of the UK’s largest care providers are to start publishing data about the quality of their services so service users can make “informed choices”.

The deal will see providers such as Bupa, Anchor Trust, Saga and MHA revealing figures for medication errors, staff turnover and complaints every three months. Barchester Health, Four Seasons Healthcare, Good Care Group, HC-One and Westminster Homecare have also signed up to the agreement, which starts this autumn.

Each organisation would publish its own data on its website and that this would enable people to “make informed choices and can understand and differentiate the quality of care”, said Martin Green, chief executive of the English Community Care Association, which helped broker the deal.

The providers have agreed to release data on:-

  • Staff turnover
  • Ratios of trained to untrained staff
  • Compliments and complaints
  • Percentage of residents developing new pressure ulcers (care homes only)
  • Percentage of residents who have a fall (care homes only)
  • Number of medication errors (care homes only)
  • Percentage of appointments not missed (home care only)
  • Appointments carried out at the agreed time (home care only)

“We are delighted with the interest in this initiative shown by our member organisations in the development of concise quality indicators that address issues which really make a difference to people’s experience of their care service,” said Bridget Warr, chief executive of the United Kingdom Homecare Association.

Green said talks to get a further 60 providers to sign up are already underway. He also said that he hoped the growing number of care service comparison websites would use the data without “adding speculative comment”.

The move was welcomed as an “interesting development” by Sheila Scott, chief executive of the National Care Association, which tends to represent smaller care home providers.

“We’ve also been discussing how to do something like this for our members but the sticking point has been how would the figures be audited since that is time consuming and needs to addressed. So we would be interested to find out how the figures will be audited.”

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