Derbyshire County Council hits back at '˜failing homes' claim

Derbyshire County Council has hit back at claims that half of its care homes are failing.

Analysis of Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection data by consumer group Which? claimed that 10 county council care homes were not up to scratch.

But Councillor Jean Wharmby, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for adult care, said the information that Which? has based its findings on is out of date and does not reflect the current situation.

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She said: “Eight of our 22 homes are rated as requiring improvement. We have no homes that are rated as inadequate.

“There is a huge difference between an overall rating of requires improvement – which may relate to failing to keep paperwork up to date and not be a reflection on the quality of care provided to residents – and inadequate, which usually relates to significant concerns about the quality of care offered or a failure to complete a recommendation from a previous inspection. Inspections are overdue on three of the homes rated as requiring improvement, including one that was last inspected 16 months ago. We would be keen for the CQC to visit as soon as possible as we are confident that the measures we have already put in place should be reflected in the next inspection.

“Our residential care homes are a top priority and we are committed to making sure they are the very best. Since we took control of the council in May 2017 we have carried out a review of all our homes and have put in place measures to improve them. I am confident that all our homes are providing high quality care and that our residents are safe, happy and well looked after. This is reflected by the fact that our homes have high rates of occupancy and in the positive feedback we receive from our residents and their families.” According to Which?, half of England’s large elderly care home providers have at least one-in -four failing homes in their network.

The consumer group said 54 providers operating at least 12 homes in England catering only for the over-65s, had half or more of their homes classed as inadequate or requiring improvement by CQC.

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Which? went on to say that it is calling on the Government to act urgently on the Competition and Markets Authority’s recommendations on information provision, complaints and unfair charges.

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Alex Hayman, Which? managing director of public markets, said: “Too few providers are able to offer consistent, high quality care – limiting choice for stressed families in a system which is already close to breaking point.”