Care home strategy criticised

Labour leader Cllr Sarah Adams has warned Suffolk County Council that the Residential and Nursing Care Home Strategy 2018 – 2023 is not fit for purpose and will do nothing to support users or improve care homes in Suffolk.

The strategy will look at the priorities for the care home sector over the next seven years but that strategy fails to address the real needs of care home users, proprietors and the wider stakeholders. The document identifies a number of high level objectives such as all care home homes being rated as good or outstanding and developing financially sustainable markets for care homes. Historically when these types of objectives are set by the council they fail to meet them. Raising the Bar tried to get all schools rated as good or outstanding and that failed, and the council had more control over schools than they do care homes.

The strategy has no delivery plan and no implementation plan and this leaves it seriously flawed. Even the priorities are seriously lacking. Priority 1 for the joint residential and nursing care home strategy is the development of more opportunities for information sharing, something that is unlikely to go very far in improving the lives of many care home residents.

Cllr Adams said; “The strategy is seriously flawed. It has no key performance indicators, there is no implementation plan and it is seriously lightweight. According to this document the number one priority for improving care homes is to improve access to information for; not make sure homes are clean, or that medicines are issued correctly, that staff have access to training and development, or that the care sector is more professionalised. Do the council really think more information for potential residents is the key to unlocking a future proofed care home sector?”

Cllr Adams added; “I will be calling on the Scrutiny Committee to look into this strategy to see what else it entails because this is simply not good enough.”

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