Calderdale among worst performing areas for standard of care homes

Social and health care services are facing high demand.
Social and health care services are facing high demand.

Old people in Calderdale are in being forced to live in unsatisfactory care homes after the local authority was named in the top 20 worst performing areas in the country.

Yorkshire and The Humber is the second worst performing region in England when it comes to the proportion of satisfactory care homes, whilst London is the best performing region.

The analysis was by old people’s charity Independent Age and based on Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections.

Four local authority areas in Yorkshire and The Humber are in the 20 worst performing areas of the country for proportion of homes rated ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement”.

They are Bradford (46.3 per cent of homes), Wakefield (46 per cent), Calderdale (43.1 per cent) and Kirklees (39.7 per cent).

The charity said the variation in quality was caused by low levels of funding by local authorities, difficulties recruiting staff, and low pay, as well as a lack of a support mechanism for improving struggling care homes.

Simon Bottery, director of policy at the care charity Independent Age, said: “No-one should be forced to live in an unsatisfactory care home but our analysis shows this is the grim reality in some parts of the country. The market is simply not providing a decent choice for older people and their families but there is little indication that local authorities or the Government are giving the problem the attention it deserves.

“Money is likely to be one cause but not the only one.

“The Government has an opportunity to address this in its upcoming Green Paper on social care but, in the meantime, councils must demonstrate that they understand the reasons for care home failures and are working to resolve them.”

Margaret Willcox, of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said: “High quality care is essential to providing good adult social care to professional standards expected by elderly and disabled people and their families, who both need and deserve it.

“Most health and adult social care services in England are providing people with safe, high quality and compassionate care, as recognised in last year’s annual CQC report, with 71 per cent of adult social care services inspected rated as good.

“However, the CQC raised concerns that the sustainability of the adult social care market is approaching a tipping point. Despite councils working hard with providers and the sector to maintain and improve the quality of care provided, the chronic and historic underfunding of social care has severely impacted on their ability to do so.

“Reductions in funding, increased demand by people living longer and with more complex needs, and the cost of the National Living Wage, while welcome, are putting significant pressures on councils and providers who are finding it hard to recruit and retain staff.”