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CQC sets new nursing care standards


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.

Private healthcare and adult social care organisations had until last Friday to register with the CQC under a new registration system that has covered NHS trusts since April.

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.

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.


Readers' comments (3)

  • I'll believe it when I see it. Unfortunately the CQC is an organisation with no teeth, I have witnessed many places with poor care standards (most often caused by lack of staff more than any staff error/lack of care) yet they still hold up the CQC banner as if it gives them a mandate to carry on as usual!

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  • A Valid point Mike. I also see, in my multi role which includes trainer, many care homes (and agencies) who are just using video training as the means to deliver knowledge to their staff. How bad is this!
    The CQC is already shsowing itself weaker than CSCI by having nursing agencies deregister. No one is then monitoring them at all. Self regulation? Right.....

    Low staffing levels, poor training, owners pocketing every spare penny. One care home my friend works in runs so below the required staffing levels because the owner refuses to use agency staff (not because he thinks they're crap but it costs him too muichy. BUT he just took delivery of a new Mercedes Barabus! His staff got 0.4% pay rise. What a star, eh?
    But never mind, the CQC banner flies high on this companys marketing literature.

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  • it works both ways. something needs to be done to make working conditions for registered nurses and other workers more attractive with the possibility of cpd in the field as not everybody wants to work there. there are a large number of staff, especially older nurses or those who have had career breaks, who are unable to get jobs anywhere else other than old peoples' homes even though they would prefer to use other skills they have developed elsewhere. new skills and valuable skills can be developed caring for old people and it can be very rewarding but other highly specialised skills can become totally redundant causing wastage where they could be better utilised and may be needed elsewhere.

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