What makes a good care home? How can we be sure that we get the best one for our relatives?

Choosing a care home for a relative can be a very stressful experience – how do we ensure that we get the best care? How can we find out what care homes are available in a particular area?

The Care Quality Commission’s new Careaware campaigns promotes their guide What can you expect from a good care home?  which runs through the factors families should look for when choosing a care home. The CQC website also has links to the latest inspection reports for care homes, allowing families to find information on particular care homes in their area.

The CQC has an important role in assessing individual care homes. Inspectors assess each care home using five criteria: asking Is it safe?, Is it effective?, Is it caring?, Is it responsive to people’s needs? and Is it well-led? Following the inspection it draws up an overall rating for the service stating whether it is outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. The CQC works with homes in the latter two categories to bring them up to standard. Care homes are then inspected again and if they have failed to improve ultimately they will be shut down by the CQC.

Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care said: “Choosing care can be a real worry for people, their families and carers, wondering who or where to turn to – but CQC can help. The public needs to know about the quality of care services available and they also need to be reassured that if there are any problems, these are being identified and tackled.”

“That is why we publish regular inspection reports with quality ratings on more than 20,000 individual care services registered with CQC. This means that people have access to clear, independent and trusted information to help them make the right decisions for them or their loved one.”

“People can be confident that we find most care services in England are providing good, safe care. For those that need to do better, or are not getting any better, we take appropriate action to ensure providers either improve or stop providing care altogether.”