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What Makes An Outstanding Care Home?

Adult hands over medical report

Recent news has identified a number of care facilities failing their Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection. We know care homes strive to achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating, but why are so many care homes failing to achieve a high rating?

Approximately 80% of care homes have been rated by the CQC, with around 62% receiving a ‘good’ rating, 37% as ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’. However, as of March this year, just 2% of care homes had achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating in the UK. Recently reported, a care home in Devon was placed under ‘special measures after it failed to protect residents from abuse‘ due to poor staffing, poor infection control and weak leadership. The CQC have also found two hospitals on South Holland’s doorstep to be inadequate too. So why are there more care homes failing to meet the standards of the CQC, than those achieving the outstanding rating?

What makes an outstanding care home?

  • An outstanding manager who is supported, confident and valued in their role
  • They have sufficient resources in order to do the job well, investing these resources into the services provided
  • Values within the care home are clear and effectively translated to all staff, ensuring each member of the team is aligned

The role of the CQC is to monitor, inspect and regulate adult social care services, to ensure they meet the fundamental standards of quality and safety. In order to pass an inspection with flying colours, adult social care facilities need to demonstrate that they meet the CQC’s 5 key questions:

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?

It’s been found that the smaller care providers, who have portfolios of just 1-2 care homes, tend to be the ones who achieve outstanding. Whilst the larger providers have a greater pool of resources, they continue to struggle to achieve consistency. It’s likely that a larger care provider will have an outstanding care home, but it’s common that you will also find a home rated inadequate, or at least requiring improvement within the same provider.

Confident, competent registered managers

Research has found that one of the primary reasons care homes succeed is because they are managed by a manager who consistently performs in their role, driving the care home forward. However, a Skills for Care report on registered managers found that 1 in 4 care homes lose their manager per year, with 1 in 3 leaving in nursing homes. Yet, one of the main fundamentals for excellence in a care home is good management. Recruiting a registered manager who feels confident and competent in their role is likely to lead to an outstanding care home, where residents are treated with dignity and respect. However, when a manager feels unsupported and undervalued, this is when they are likely to move on, because they aren’t getting what they need to be able to manage their home well, to deliver the high quality, person-centred care that their residents need.

The importance of values and ethos

What is of great importance in a care home is establishing your home’s values and ethos, to ensure that every single member of your team represents these every day.

Each and every team member must share the same vision, where profit is not what drives your business forward, but putting the needs of each individual resident first, valuing each person you are there for, no matter their status or role.

Sufficient resources

A strong pool of resources are essential to any care home. This allows the registered manager to invest these into the service, to provide the best quality care possible. With a strong pool of resources, the registered manager will feel supported meaning they will feel more valued, and confident and competent in their role.

As we get older, we all hope that if we end up in a care home or nursing home that we receive outstanding care. Therefore, it’s important that registered managers are supported and made to feel valued. Remember, a confident and competent registered manager is one of the fundamentals that underpins high-quality care in a home. Therefore, why are their jobs made more difficult by a lack of resources? As we discussed earlier, having a strong pool of resources will make the role of a registered manager easier, giving them the ability to manage their responsibilities better. Lastly, establishing your home’s values and ethos is essential in order to deliver person-centred care, tailoring the support you give to every individual’s needs. When you compile these three elements together, you have the fundamentals in place to achieve an outstanding rating from the CQC. Now, what’s your plan of action?!

eLearning For You is the leading training provider for the health and social care industry, with an extensive range of courses designed to provide the knowledge and skills that your staff need. To find out how we can help you, or for more information about what we have to offer, visit our website today!


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