When the care home provider Southern Cross collapsed last year, it created a nightmare scenario for thousands of their residential clients who had to be placed in alternative accommodation.
Now Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support, has said that regulation of the care sector is not fit for purpose, and has unveiled proposals on English care homes for consultation.
He has also said there is a “significant lack of corporate accountability for the quality of care.”
However, lack of scrutiny of care home finances is not the only problem which has been brought to light in recent years. There have, for example, been several cases of abuse of elderly patients and lack of care, to name just two problems.
Last year, the Scottish government changed its regulations so that care homes faced at least one unannounced inspection each year.
The toughening up of the regulatory system has been in response to concerns that the inspection regime was not up to scratch following the deaths of two former residents at an Edinburgh care home and the collapse of Southern Cross care home provider.
It makes for frightening reading and frightening consequences for those residents involved. On the issue of care home providers collapsing, Dr. Peter Carter of the Royal College of Surgeons recently told the BBC: “When a patient or service user is moved from one care setting to another due to providers failing, it can have catastrophic effects on their mental and physical health.”
The country’s biggest provider had thousands of elderly residents at more than 750 care homes across the UK.
Faced with this less than satisfactory scenario in the care home sector, it is surprising that more people do not explore alternatives.
In the second instalment of this feature, we explore some of the alternatives, with relevant costings as well as comparing the physiological and emotion factors concerned.