A recent poll commissioned by Independent Age survey found that more than half (51%) of Tory MPs and four in five Labour MPs (83%) were concerned that the quality of care homes would deteriorate over the next year without Government action.
Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, the older people’s charity, said: “MPs in England are strikingly pessimistic about the quality of care homes in their constituencies.
Older people who need residential or nursing care need to be given a meaningful choice when it comes to their care, so it is worrying that so many MPs expect the quality of care homes in their area to get worse next year if nothing is done.
“This is a stark reminder of the challenge facing Jeremy Hunt in his new expanded role as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. The quality and cost of all types of care must be addressed in the forthcoming social care Green Paper for both the long and short term. With so many MPs seemingly having lost faith in their local care homes market, it’s time to get on with finding a solution.”
Prime Minister Theresa May is facing increasing pressure from Tory MPs to address the growing health and social care crisis.
Sarah Wollaston, who heads the Commons Health Committee, said: “We need a clear understanding from PM that NHS, public health and social care are inextricably linked and urgency of the need to review current and long-term funding as a single system.”
More than four in five (82%) Conservatives and nine in 10 (92%) Labour MPs said older people should be given the choice of at least one Good or Outstanding CQC rated home.
More than one third (37%) of Tories and over two-thirds (68%) of Labour MPs do not believe the care home market is functioning well in their constituency.
Two-thirds (66%) of MPs believe that elderly people should be offered legal protection from being only offered homes that are ‘Requires Improvement or Inadequate’.
Independent Age’s research found councils are not routinely taking into account CQC ratings when arranging care home visits.
A Which? survey published last week revealed that one in four English care homes are rated Requires Improvement or Inadequate.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “This telling survey is further evidence that the social care crisis is rising up the worry list of MPs of all parties and cannot be ignored. It follows the recent publication of the Competition and Markets Authority report on the care home market, which further underlined the significant funding shortfall facing the sector.
“MPs are rightly concerned that the quality and choice of care homes will get worse unless immediate action is taken to tackle social care underfunding.”
Independent Age is calling for the social care Green Paper to set out clear solutions for a fairer, more transparent and sustainable care system that will instill confidence in MPs across all parties, as well as older people and their families, to show that the government has fully comprehended and taken on board all the issues surrounding social care.
About the survey
ComRes interviewed 119 MPs with constituencies in England online and by paper self- completion questionnaire between 14 th November and 11 th December 2017. Data was weighted to be representative of the House of Commons by party and region. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
This survey is one of many that highlights concern about the standard of quality in care homes. The views of the MPs who took part in the survey should be taken seriously, in the hope that they will bring pressure to bear on the government about the needs of social care with the forthcoming Green Paper.
The notion at long last of an inextricably linked NHS, public health and social care service appears to be gaining momentum. This can only be good for those who require services along with those who provide them.
The survey also raised concern about the choice available for those requiring a care home placement. MPs are concerned that some local authorities are only offering placements in care homes rated ‘Requires Improvement or Inadequate’ the MPs believe people should be offered legal protection when only offered homes with this rating.
Albert Cook BA, MA & Fellow Charted Quality Institute
Bettal Quality Consultancy