Residents to rate their own care home services

Blog posted

21st December 2011

The idea of people rating their care home publicly is one I would support.

It’s an initiative that forms part of a Government White Paper on social care and is likely to be published in the spring.

Only an idea at this stage but one which would again assist in making this sector more transparent. Time and time again, the nursing and residential care sector is criticised for running a closed shop.

The impression to the outside world is that until an inspector comes to call and uncovers a multitude of issues, homes merrily operate regardless.

But this is so far from the truth and the sooner public perception is changed the better.

Yes, the rogue homes hit the headlines and so they should but these represent a drop in the ocean compared with the thousands providing quality services, usually exceeding all the necessary standards set by regulators.

Retirement Villages Ltd encourages residents to set up committees. Run by the residents themselves, these provide an arena in which they can discuss openly any misgivings or concerns they may have. It’s vital there is this openness and an opportunity for residents’ voices to be heard.

Surveys are organised to highlight any negativity and village managers’ doors are always open to residents and their families to come and chat.

The care home rating system being suggested will take this approach a step further and will provide a public record of what our residents actually think about their home. What a good idea.

Similar to the way people rate their holiday experience, giving the hotel, catering and location, a star rating, so residents will be able to mark our homes and their services.

The residents’ ratings can sit alongside the Care Quality Commission reports, giving residents of the future and their families an invaluable insight into life within one of our care homes.

I can’t think of a better way to help ensure we are always on top of our game and providing the best possible environment and services for our residents. To be honest, it doesn’t need a residents’ rating to do this – it should be happening all the time – but what this will do is provide a further layer of transparency to help polish a sector which only seems to hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Paul Walsh
MD, Care & Operations