Our elderly in care will be condemned to greater risk under new regulations

Our elderly in care will be condemned to greater risk under new regulations

The Panorama broadcast ‘Behind Closed Doors’ is just the latest in a spate of shocking exposés says the Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA).

The charity is currently challenging the Government on its new proposals for ‘lighter touch’ regulations following yet another revelation about the mistreatment and neglect of elderly in care.

These are due to come into force later this year and will replace the current ones which have already seen a watering down of previous versions.

The regulations, the governing rules which dictate how care homes must operate, set out the duties and obligations of care providers. Examples of some of the proposed changes mean that providers will no longer:

  • have to bring their complaints system to the attention of residents and people acting for them;
  • be required to report ‘serious incidents’ to the regulator;
  • have to analyse incidents that resulted in, or could have resulted in, harm to the resident.

Care providers are currently obliged to explain the complaints procedures to all residents and their representatives and provide support to those wishing to make a complaint or comment.  R&RA wants to see this regulation maintained.

Since mid 2013 R&RA has also been calling on Government to reinstate the monthly unannounced visits by providers to their own homes.

This used to be the law and providers had to produce monthly reports on what those visits revealed.  It was scrapped in 2009.

The charity wants to see the reinstatement of this provider accountability with reports to CQC, managers and boards as before.

Judy Downey

Judy Downey

Chair of R&RA, Judy Downey says, “Where care of older people is concerned we appear to be going backwards not forwards. It really is astonishing that with all the information at our disposal, including the irrefutable evidence of how horribly things can go wrong, we still don’t seem able to get this right. How the Department of Health can consider weakening the regulations now is incomprehensible”.

“Decent care requires proper and appropriate regulations and until the Government acknowledges this, and until care home providers and managers are held to far greater account, nothing will ever change for older people in poor care homes.

“We urge the Department of Health, as a matter of urgency, to take action on the points raised in our response to their consultation on the regulations which we submitted earlier this month”.

Support our petition for change

The Relatives & Residents Association is calling for the reinstatement of monthly checks by care providers for older people, which will force them to ensure that their businesses are being ethically run.

We want to see legislation which will guarantee that home owners are not able to distance themselves when things go wrong and will be called to account when staff are convicted for abuse.

Support our call for changes making care home owners and providers fully accountable by signing our petition.