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What makes a care home outstanding?

We have all seen negative stories in the national newspapers about the poor standards of care in British nursing and private care homes. Nightmarish stories about elderly and vulnerable people being neglected and ill-treated are commonplace, so you’d be forgiven for thinking there is a crisis in the industry and that all residents are being put at risk.

However, it is also acknowledged that there are excellent care and nursing homes in the country which often get overlooked in the clamour for eye-grabbing front-page headlines.


Just One Per Cent

In England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been examining nursing and care homes and rating them depending on a range of factors, similar to the way Ofsted rates schools. Shockingly, of those homes examined so far, less than 1% achieved an outstanding rating, with around 62% being rated good and a frankly depressing 37% requiring improvement or rated inadequate.

A recent article in The Guardian took a closer look at these ‘outstanding’ homes and discovered there were certain attributes which they have in common.

A Good Manager

One of the main necessities for excellence in the care sector is, perhaps predictably, good management. An outstanding, valued and well-supported manager unsurprisingly leads to an outstanding care home which treats its residents with respect and dignity.

Unfortunately, care managers don’t tend to stick around – figures show that every year as many as a quarter of care homes and a third of nursing homes will lose their manager. The reasons for this are many, but they seem to show that unless a manager is well supported and valued (not just paid a decent wage, but also given the correct resources to manage well), they are likely to move on.

The Importance of Ethos

In addition to a strong pool of resources to ensure the home can provide not just adequate but outstanding care, also important are clearly defined values and ethos throughout the home.

Everyone from the owner down must share the same vision: where profit is never put before the needs of the residents and staff and everyone is valued, whatever their status and role.

Small Is Good

The majority of the homes found to be outstanding by the CQC are small private ones. Typically, they have just one or two homes in their business. It seems most of the larger care providers struggle to be consistent in their approach, ethos and standards, while the worst of them evidently put profit before people.

Small private care homes appear to offer the best type of care to residents, being able to concentrate their funds better when operating on a smaller scale than some of their larger counterparts.

If you are looking for care homes in West Sussex or care homes in Crawley, you may want to consider Balcombe Care Homes, which is always striving for excellence.

And remember that you can now check out each care home’s current CQC rating before going along to inspect it for yourself.

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