The threat of care home inspections by regulators over the festive period has been criticised.
The Registered Nursing Home Association described inspections on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day as a “step too far”.
It was responding to an announcement by the Care Quality Commission that its inspectors would continue to carry out unannounced visits throughout the Christmas holidays.
CQC operations director Amanda Sherlock said: “It is important that our inspections don’t just happen on weekdays but also happen when there is the most stress in the system, this includes evenings, weekends and particularly over periods of the year such as Christmas and the New Year.”
But the RNHA described inspections in care homes on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day as “unnecessarily intrusive and disruptive”.
RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said: “We find it rather strange and not a little galling that the CQC should think it appropriate to send in the inspectors for purely routine purposes while care home residents are looking forward to their Christmas lunch and other activities.
“Our staff will be under particular pressure on this day of all days, and could certainly do without inspectors snapping at their heels. It is also something of an imposition on our residents to find CQC bureaucrats wandering around in what is, in effect, their home on a day when they just want to relax and enjoy themselves.”