Care homes urgently need injection of humanity

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UK care home sector needs to rediscover compassionate caring says report 

27th October 2014 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Sweeping changes have to be made to UK care homes – with an urgent need to “inject humanity” back into the care of residents.

A unique inquiry into the state of the care home sector for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said personal relationships need to be put at the heart of how they are run and regulated.

With more people living longer and care needs changing, care homes should be declared “a sector of national strategic importance” which cares for 400,000 people and employs over a million.

The call comes following a year-long personal inquiry by John Kennedy, Director of Care Services at JRF and care provider the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT). 

Blame culture, bureaucracy and business model have contributed to the "permanent sense of crisis"  the sector finds itself in today and needs to be urgently changed.

The inquiry argues human relationships and caring needs to be central to the system and the sector - replacing the impersonal and insecure culture that currently shrouds the whole care environment.

The care home sector needs to be brought in from the cold: valued, supported and fully part of a co-ordinated system

The report recommends include a call for better pay, conditions and support for care workers as well as better funding for the sector.

John Kennedy, who led the personal inquiry, said: “We need a clear vision for our future care, based on the reality of our human condition. Kindness and compassion need to be nurtured, it can’t be just legislated.

“The care home sector needs to be brought in from the cold: valued, supported and fully part of a co-ordinated system. Care home providers also need to step up and accept their wider social responsibility - if you are in it just for the money, you’re in the wrong business.”

He added: “How many more reports of failing care do we need to hear about before we decide to act? We need to make our care homes better now. We need to have a system that maximises the potential of all care homes to be good.

“The government, regulators and care home providers need to come together to improve funding and pay, cut bureaucracy and inject humanity back into the system we rely upon to look after our loved ones and ourselves.”