Speaking ahead of a major conference of care home owners and managers from the south west of England in Exeter on Tuesday (28th April), Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA) chief executive officer Frank Ursell called on the next government to spend more on meeting the needs of older people and those with mental health problems and learning disabilities as ‘a matter of the utmost priority’.
He said: “The past five years have seen ‘real terms’ cuts in public spending on vital services. Care providers, including nursing homes throughout the country, have been put under extreme financial pressure.
“We need the new government to reflect long and hard on what those pressures have done to the services that many thousands of people rely on. Ministers and MPs alike should stop and ask themselves what level of care they would expect for themselves and their own families.”
As well as reviewing the problems caused by cutbacks and assessing the likely impact of the new Care Act on individuals reliant upon public funding for their long-term care, the Exeter conference will debate a new quality ratings system for nursing homes, a code of practice for determining whether patients have the mental capacity to make key decisions about their care, and the introduction of care certificates for staff.
Commented Mr Ursell: “We in the Registered Nursing Home Association are delighted to be launching our spring 2005 roadshows in Exeter. These events provide an excellent opportunity for those involved in the care of some of this country’s most vulnerable people to update their knowledge and express their views.”
He added: “Whatever the political colour or colours of the next government, those in charge of the country after the general election must act decisively to protect the most vulnerable people in our society.”