Care of the elderly a growing priority

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THE council is continuing its efforts to try to drive up standards in Calderdale care homes.

But there are still two homes where placements have been suspended and three more where admissions are restricted.

The first pair are Heath Bank Nursing Home, and Elm View Nursing Home, on Huddersfield Road, Halifax.

Accidents and thefts went unrecorded Elm View and it is now under police investigation.

Councillors ordered a review of care homes two years ago in response to a growing list of concerns.

Since then the Care Quality Commission has abandoned its quality rating system and so Calderdale Council has introduced its own in partnership with NHS Calderdale.

The “quality and compliance assessment” scheme involves regular six monthly inspections.

“Where, as a result of the process, care is deemed to be poor and a decision is made to suspend placements, then initially there is a supportive response, requiring the home to assemble an action plan of remedial measures,” according to the council’s interim health and social care director Sue Ross.

“The progress of the home is closely monitored and reviewed monthly.

“When an acceptable standard of care has been restored, a recommendation is made to the head of service to lift the suspensions,” she told the health and social care panel in a report.

Three new homes are opening in Calderdale in 2011/12 providing an extra 228 beds in single, en-suite rooms.

Developers are planning three more.

“We are reviewing our approach to contract compliance to simplify and reduce reporting requirements without compromising care quality,” said the director.