The Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA) has urged the Care Quality Commission to be far more rigorous in helping to end isolation in care. Following a meeting with Kate Terroni, the Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, the association called on the regulator to take a proactive role in monitoring care homes’ compliance with visiting guidance.
It is unacceptable, they say that relatives/friends of those in care have had to step in to fill the gap, chasing homes for compliance. From now on, CQC should insist that care homes make their visiting policy explicit and report current practice to them as the regulator. The information should be publicly available and included in CQC’s inspection reports. This would help to ensure safe visiting is enabled in all care homes.
This forms part of it’s six point plan on ending isolation in care, issued as the Government is redrafting visiting guidance this week. Whilst the CQC’s recent statement that blanket visiting bans are “unacceptable” and may trigger an inspection is welcome, CQC must act now to stop the human rights crisis unfolding in care. We urged CQC to set out their expectations of care homes and how facilitating contact with relatives/friends is key to providing person-centred care that ensures people’s dignity. Setting out these expectations within the framework of CQC’s fundamental standards and the Health and Social Care Act regulations will ensure care homes see facilitating visiting as intrinsic to delivering good care and meeting these legal standards.
The association says that callers to the R&RA helpline see the devastating impact lack of contact has had on their relatives and feel let down by the systems designed to protect their human rights. With visiting guidance remaining advisory, rather than set out in law, it is vital that the regulator ensures compliance. This falls squarely within CQC’s purpose to improve standards and protect and safeguard vulnerable adults receiving care.