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Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales Chief Inspector welcomes end of ‘minimum standards’ of care and greater focus on quality of life

Imelda Richardson, Chief Inspector for Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales has welcomed the Older People’s Commissioner’s review, “A Place to Call Home.

In her evidence to the review the Chief Inspector explained that the inspectorate had moved away from inspecting minimum standards and a tick box culture in the past three years to focusing on quality of life of people during inspections.

We don’t think that minimum standards are good enough. When we inspect we look for good quality care well above minimum standards which aims to improve the quality of life of people; this is what good care homes in Wales provide.

We see excellent care during our inspections and the majority of care homes in Wales provide good or excellent care.

However, there is still an unacceptable level of care in some homes. We can’t be in homes 24/7 which is why we have made it easier for people to report concerns to us. No concern is too small and this could tip the balance and lead to an additional unannounced inspection.

We have already seen reported concerns increase by 95% last year which is showing that the changes are working.

We work everyday to improve care in Wales. We inspect 679 older people’s care home; visits are unannounced and can take place at any time of the day or week. We always talk people - staff, families, professionals – and use observational techniques to see what the quality of life of people is for people with dementia.

CSSIW established a National Advisory Board in January 2014. Over half the Board are people who have or have supported people receiving care, and their role is to challenge and develop CSSIW’s work to ensure that people’s voices are being heard and acted upon. Chair of the Board Professor Judith Hall, said:

The report is useful and will add to the information that the National Advisory Board will draw on in advising CSSIW of people’s experiences of care.

I am pleased to see the Commissioner’s focus on the quality of life for older people.  As we know, all CSSIW’s work is focused on quality of life to ensure people’s experience of care and their outcomes is essential to their well-being.

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