Press Release

Commitments made to deliver change across Wales to improve the quality of life of older people living in care homes

Clear commitments to improve the quality of life of older people living in care homes have been made by public bodies in Wales as a result of the Care Home Review undertaken by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales during 2014.

All of the statutory bodies subject to the Requirements for Action included in the Commissioner's review report have now submitted action plans that set out how they will deliver the improvements needed within care homes and across the wider care home system in Wales.

Responses from Health Boards and Local Authorities were particularly strong, clearly setting out how they will deliver the outcomes expected by the Commissioner and detailing a wide range of innovative work that will make a big difference to the lives of older people in care homes.

However, the Commissioner is not satisfied with the overall evidence provided by the Welsh Government and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) as their responses failed to provide her with the level of detail needed to assure her, on behalf of older people, that they will deliver the action and associated outcomes that older people rightfully expect.

Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Sarah Rochira, said:

“All of the bodies subject to my Review strongly welcomed its findings and I am pleased that many public bodies across Wales who have an essential role to play in driving change within our care home system have given strong commitments to take the action necessary to improve the quality of life of older people living in care homes across Wales. This is a significant and positive step forward.

“In my Review I made very clear the impact of not taking action and the price that is paid by older people when public bodies fail to uphold people’s rights and protect them. I am therefore extremely disappointed that the responses from the Welsh Government and CSSIW in many instances failed to provide adequate detail or acknowledge the change that needs to take place to assure me that action will be taken that will deliver real and positive improvements for older people living in care homes.

The Commissioner will seek further information as part of an on-going programme of follow-up work and formal scrutiny to ensure that the outcomes set out in her Review are being delivered.

The Commissioner is currently analysing the responses received from care home providers and will make a statement in November that provides an overview of these responses, one year on from the publication of her Review Report.

The Commissioner added:

“I have been clear that accountability to improve practice and support people’s right to a good quality of life sits with the bodies subject to my Review. However, as part of my Review follow-up work, I will continue to support public bodies to improve our care home system, growing their knowledge and understanding, and highlight the good practice that already exists across many parts of Wales that can be rolled out more widely.

“My Review is fundamentally about the lives that people lead in the place that they should be able to call home. It is important that the Requirements for Action in my review report are implemented by all the bodies who were subject to my Review.

When I launched my Review report, I was clear that it was just the beginning of a longer term process of change. In order to be assured that this is the case, and that improvements have been delivered, I will also undertake a further review in 18 months, which will be focussed on the outcomes I made explicit in my Review report. This will again have the voices of older people at its heart.”