Nurses working in care homes and the independent sector must meet tough new standards following an expansion to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) inspection regime.
Services where problems have been identified can expect frequent inspections
The regime sets essential standards of quality and safety that everyone receiving care will be able to expect, covering areas such as patient consent, nutrition, medicines management, safeguarding and infection control.
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CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower said: “We did not tolerate poor care under the old registration system and we certainly will not tolerate it under the new system.
“Services where problems have been identified can expect frequent inspections and we will use our powers where it is necessary to protect people, even if it means shutting services down.”
The CQC said in the past year it had come across a range of serious problems in care homes, including verbal and psychological abuse, medicines not being managed safely, a lack of nursing care, poor sanitary conditions and a lack of staff training.
Thirty-four care homes and eight agencies providing care in people’s homes have closed in the past 12 months following investigations by the CQC.
However, this represents only a small fraction of the 24,000 registered care services in England.
Ms Bower said: “Standards across the sector are improving year on year, so people are getting better care than in the past.
“In order to keep this trend going, we need to address the worst services that just cannot or will not improve to an acceptable level.”
The regulator has been working with both sectors to prepare them for the new system.