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Care homes failing to meet core standards

PUBLISHED: 15:35 21 January 2009 | UPDATED: 10:17 12 August 2010

CARE home providers are not meeting national minimum standards, a report from a national watchdog has revealed. A report submitted to

CARE home providers are not meeting national minimum standards, a report from a national watchdog has revealed.

A report submitted to Bromley council's adult and community scrutiny committee showed that less than three per cent of care homes used by the council meet core standards.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) report circulated last Tuesday showed that the majority of residents were placed in homes rated two stars out of three.

Forty-two per cent of people placed in nursing homes by the council are in one-star rated homes, which are considered 'adequate' by CSCI.

Eileen Chubb, a former Bromley care health worker who runs Compassion in Care, a charity uncovering abuse in care homes, said the star ratings were probably optimistic.

She said: "In my experience most average homes manage to get two or three stars.

"We need better scrutiny of care homes than this."

Graham Arthur, executive member for older people, said he was 'never satisfied' with standards, but said it was unclear what the newly introduced star ratings actually meant.

He said: "We demand high standards for our residents. If we don't think people are coming up to scratch we come to them with the boot."

Bromley council itself was given two out of three stars for its 'good' care delivery across the board with 'promising' capacity to improve.

However, the report came in the same week that the council was criticised along with most other authorities for paying too little towards residential care.

The English Community Care Association claimed Bromley pays £420 a week per person, whereas the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says London boroughs should pay at

least £574.

But Mr Arthur maintained: "We are very efficient. We spend the money very wisely."

Bromley council is still trying to seek a company to renew its existing care home stock, six months after negotiations with Shaw Healthcare fell through.

Shaw hoped to build four 'extra care' homes where residents live independently, but pulled out last July due to the credit crunch.

Two care homes, in St Paul's Cray and Bromley, closed last year and are due to be put for tender this year.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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