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Care watchdog to act on death rates

Published on 17 June 2013 11:00 AM

An independent care regulator is trialling a new system that will flag up residential and nursing homes in England where death rates of older people are found to be unusually high.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says it is determined to spot cases of poor care as soon as possible and investigate them right away. Care homes are supposed to report deaths to the CQC, but an investigation by the BBC's Panorama programme suggests that this isn't always happening.

1 in 3 care homes not providing 'required standards'

Poor care at two hospitals in Mid Staffordshire was uncovered because of a high number of deaths and the CQC says a third of care homes are not providing the required standards. The organisation said it would consider sanctions for any that fail to meet its basic levels of care.

Reporters at the BBC were told that the CQC would be concentrating on death rates, as well as sending more specialist inspection teams and consulting families and staff.

Dozens of care homes not reporting deaths

The Panorama probe found significant holes in the data the CQC received from care homes that, by law, must report deaths as soon as possible. The BBC investigations discovered that dozens of care homes where people had died in 2011/12 had not reported any deaths at all.

The commission has revealed that it is piloting a new system that recognises unusually high numbers of deaths and begins investigations right away.

Spotting poor care 'as early as possible'

David Behan, the chief executive of the CQC, says it is vital to spot poor care as early as possible. He said care homes will be in no doubt about what is acceptable and what is not in the future, but it will also be looking for instances of quality care as well as punishing poor provision when it needs to.

Who are the Care Quality Commission?

The CQC is a public body responsible for making sure all care homes, hospitals, GP surgeries and other health organisations in England provide high quality care for the public. This includes how older people are cared for, while also looking after the interests of people with restricted rights under the Mental Health Act. Services are inspected and the findings are revealed to the public on its website.

Copyright Press Association 2013


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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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