Care homes owners across the country need to start planning now for tougher CQC inspection criteria, a law expert from Preston has warned.
Rachel Adamson, from Adkirk Law, says that the impact of Covid-19 on the sector could lead to stricter requirements in the near future.
With the latest government figures showing over 20,000 deaths involving Covid-19 involved care home residents, Rachel says it is inevitable that any future inquiry will suggest even stricter enforcement from the inspection body.
She said: “We’re sitting on the edge of another cliff face for care home owners. Not only are we expecting significantly more people to require social care support over the next twenty years, but Covid-19 has exposed some vulnerabilities that the Government can’t ignore.
“I think any inquiry into these care home deaths will undoubtedly lead to tougher inspection criteria beyond the main five questions, and potentially stricter criminal and civil enforcement.
“For care home owners, protecting their residents is always priority number one, but they can only do that by protecting their business. Making sure that they are ready for future inspections means being able to retrospectively answer questions on their approach to the pandemic and being prepared to make the necessary changes quickly to protect their reputation and rating.
“While the frequency of inspections has slowed due to the pandemic, care home owners should not rest on their laurels. In the near future the enforcement action for a failing home could be come even more serious and those homes which prepare for that now will be in the best place to look after their residents and their business.”