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Meeting the health care needs of people in care homes

  • Public

In March 2012, we published the results of a review of how the healthcare needs of care home residents are met.

The review addressed how older people and people with learning disabilities living in care homes access healthcare services, whether they have choice and control over their healthcare and whether they receive care that is safe and respects their dignity.

During this review, our inspection teams visited a sample of 81 care homes within nine PCT areas. They interviewed managers, residents and staff, observed care provided to residents and examined case files.

Key findings

  • Seventy-seven per cent of care plans seen considered the views of the resident
  • Ninety-six per cent of care homes identified the changing health care needs of residents through informal or responsive monitoring.

However, the review also showed that:

  • A quarter of residents did not feel they were offered a choice of male or female staff to help them use the toilet.
  • Forty-four per cent of care homes indicated they received routine visits from GPs.
  • Thirty per cent of nursing homes did not have a 'do not attempt resuscitation' policy. Of those that did, just 37 per cent of staff had received training on it.
  • Thirty-five per cent of homes reported they 'sometimes' had problems getting medicines to residents on time.
  • Ten per cent of care homes said they paid for their GP surgeries to visit.

You can read more about the review and see our key findings in full by downloading the document below. We have made this available in easy-to-read format.

Find out more

Emerging themes of non-compliance will influence future detailed CQC thematic inspections including the dignity and nutrition review for care homes and the learning disability review.

We have made the data from this review available in the spreadsheets below.

Key stages

Stage 1 – 2010

Risk assessment - based on a survey of English PCTs and councils (carried out early 2010) and data from previous care home inspections (specifically the care home’s performance against the National Minimum Standards).  The aim of this assessment was to identify areas where data is indicative, although not necessarily demonstrative, of greater risk of poor care existing.

Indicator scores were then aggregated to theme level and areas were ranked in ascending order of indicative risk of poor health care in care homes. From this, the nine with the lowest score were selected.

All PCTs were provided with a full risk assessment report in December 2010 to support local commissioning work.

Stage 2 - 2011

Local assessment comprising of care home inspections and evidence gathering from PCTs.

  • Visits to a random sample of care homes in the area were undertaken to gather evidence from managers, staff, care home records and, importantly, from people living in care homes by using CQC Experts by Experience. Visits were made to 3 care homes with nursing, 3 care homes without nursing and 3 care homes for the learning disabled in each of the 9 PCT areas in January and February 2011.
  • Additional evidence gathering from the 9 PCTs via a visit in Spring 2011

The PCT and care home visits were carried out, but due to changes to CQC’s broader functions, specifically ending our responsibilities for assessing PCT and local authority commissioning, the requirement to provide judgements on our assessment of commissioning was removed. Subsequently, key findings have been summarised and the full data sets made available on the review’s webpage. 

Last updated:
29 May 2017


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