More than two-thirds of care homes in Wakefield district told to improve

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More than two-thirds of care homes in the district “require improvement” or are “inadequate”, a health and social care watchdog has ruled.

Figures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) showed 69 per cent of homes were failing to meet national standards for safety and care.

It comes after tougher regulations were introduced in October last year to improve the way it regulates and inspects care homes.

The CQC has carried out 45 inspections at 42 homes in the district since the new measures were introduced.

Six inspections resulted in homes being judged to be inadequate, 23 required improvement, 16 were rated as good and no homes were considered outstanding.

AGE UK chief executive for the Wakefield district Paula Bee said: “The new regulations mean the goal posts have been moved and care homes managers are still adapting to the changes. We are working hard to address the issues.”

The ranking system – outstanding; good; requires improvement; inadequate – has replaced the former one, where they were only judged as compliant or noncompliant.

During CQC inspections, homes are required to pass the Mum Test – where care is of the quality you would expect a family member to receive.

Breadalbane Residential Home in Castleford was judged to be “inadequate” in July.

The report said staff were not providing the required standard of care for dementia patients and people were at risk of being scalded by hot water.

But owner David Hagen said the findings were inaccurate and he criticised the new regulations claiming it has become “a box ticking exercise”.

He said: “The CQC are running scared because when all the cruelty to patients down south was exposed, they had marked some of the homes as outstanding.

“So they are going round covering their own backs and have taken the attitude to mark everyone down.

“What they don’t realise is they are creating a demoralising atmosphere for staff and residents.

“And when care homes close where are the elderly going to go?”

But the CQC said the new regulations allow inspectors to get under the skin of a service and observe what care people receive.

A CQC spokesman said: “Inspections teams are much larger than before and include experts and specialist advisors. This enables the team to delve deeper than previous inspections and ensures the findings are fair and transparent.

“By rating services people can make an informed decision about their care needs unlike ever before. However, when inspections reveal poor care CQC will not hesitate to use their new enforcement powers to protect the safety and welfare of the people who depend on services.”

To find out a care home’s rating log onto www.cqc.org.uk.