The state of child and eldercare in Wales is due to be put under the spotlight with the launch of the Good Care Guide (www.goodcareguide.co.uk).
The independent website has been described as “the TripAdvisor for the care industry” and will allow families across Wales to review and rate a care home, homecare agency or nursery – and seek out first-hand experiences from others.
The Good Care Guide launched in England in February 2012 and has proved hugely popular with families embarking on the difficult journey of finding the right care for their loved ones.
Over 3,600 Welsh care providers can now be found on the Good Care Guide website which has been created by My Family Care and United for All Ages, with the help of the Care and Social Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW).
Andy Major, Director at goodcareguide.co.uk says: “Our aim is to ensure that a high standard of care is adhered to in all care homes, home care agencies and nurseries across the country. It’s of paramount importance that care in Wales is continually under scrutiny to make sure that people are always treated the way they deserve – well. Whether you’re looking for the best nursery in Swansea or a great care home in Cardiff, Good Care Guide can now provide insight into what people really think.”
The Good Care Guide has also proved to be an essential source of insight for care providers who have improved their quality of service as a result of receiving these honest, impartial and genuine reviews.
Imelda Richardson, Chief Inspector for Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales, says: “It is important when families are choosing care for a loved one that they have all of the information available to make an informed decision. Having our providers listed on the Good Care Guide is another step forward in being transparent about the type of care available in Wales.
“We do not tolerate bad care but when this does happen we need to know about it so we can take action. The Good Care Guide is another opportunity to engage with people to know what they think about care in Wales. If anyone does have any concerns about the care a relative has received they should still let us know by calling 0300 7900 126 or through our website www.cssiw.org.uk. ”
My Family Care and United for All Ages, the organisations behind the website, have years of experience advising families on their childcare and eldercare needs. Users can search for providers by location, postcode or name and see what comments and star ratings have been made about providers. They can also register to leave comments and star-rate providers against three criteria: quality of care, facilities/environment, and value for money. The Good Care Guide balances the views of users alongside official inspection reports.
Ben Ruddle, Director of Home Instead Senior Care in Swansea & Neath says: “When looking for care it’s really important that families do their homework and seek advice from as many people as they can. The launch of the Good Care Guide in Wales will be hugely beneficial to people in need of care, and their families, as it will help them to decide which care organisations are doing well and delivering a quality service.
“From the point of view of organisations such as mine, the Good Care Guide will be a great way of highlighting those companies offering quality care and a service built around the needs and wants of individuals. It’s going to be a great way of spreading the word about excellent standards of care in Wales.”
Care providers can subscribe to the Good Care Guide to enhance their listing and respond directly to comments. Good Care Guide alerts care providers when a positive or negative review is posted, and also allows them to report comments, which then become subject to a verification process. The Good Care Guide has a robust moderation process, ensuring that only genuine users of care can comment and providers can challenge false statements. The Good Care Guide lets users praise or criticise – but if they have serious concerns about the care they are using, they should contact their care manager, social services, Care Inspectorate or the Police directly.