How can we use quality data to make Care Homes safer?

Safety In Care HomesDr Adam Gordon is Clinical Associate Professor in Medicine of Older People at The University of Nottingham and an Honorary Consultant Geriatrician at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; he tweets @adamgordon1978. Here he describes a project to benchmark and report the prevalence of care problems in UK care homes.

Care homes do a lot of good work. There are almost three times as many beds in UK care homes as there are in National Health Service hospitals. Care home residents are amongst the most vulnerable members of our society.

Up to 80% have cognitive impairment, some two thirds have behavioural symptoms, all need help with their activities of daily living and many are approaching the ends of their lives. Much of the excellent care that takes place to care for these very vulnerable citizens in the 320,000 UK care home beds goes unreported. When things go wrong, however, the media are quick to respond.

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