Terms of Reference: Review into the Quality of life and care of Older People living in care homes in Wales

Proceeding under section 3 of the Commissioner for Older People (Wales) Act 2006, the Commissioner will Review the extent to which Local Authorities, Health Boards, Care Home Providers, Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), Care Council for Wales and the Welsh Government safeguard and promote the interests of older people living in residential and nursing care settings in Wales.

Specifically, the Commissioner will:

1. Seek the views of older people, their relatives, carers and others to understand the experiences of older people living within care homes in Wales.

2. Identify what Local Authorities, Health Boards, Care Home Providers, Care Council for Wales, CSSIW and the Welsh Government understand about the quality of life and care experienced by older people living in care homes.

3. Gather evidence about the procedures and actions that Local Authorities, Health Boards, Care Home Providers, Care Council for Wales, CSSIW and the Welsh Government have implemented in the past three years and have planned to safeguard the quality of life and care of older people and the evidence of their impact.

4. Consider whether current and planned changes are sufficient to drive up the quality of care and whether they will ensure that the interests of older people are safeguarded and promoted in care homes.

5. Make practical recommendations to Local Authorities, Health Boards, Care Home Providers and CSSIW as to what must be improved, changed or put in place to promote and safeguard the quality of life and care of older people living in care homes across Wales.

The terms of this review do not include palliative or end of life care arrangements, extra care homes, sheltered housing or patients in specialist hospital long stay facilities. However the Commissioner will share information and findings that may arise in these areas within the life of the Review with relevant bodies. 

Review findings and required action

The Commissioner will publish recommendations that the public bodies subject to her Review will be expected to comply with. These recommendations will be focused on the overall aim of the Commissioner’s Review, which is to ensure that quality of life sits at the heart of the provision of residential and nursing care in Wales.

Powers of the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales

The Commissioner has the power to review arrangements for safeguarding and promoting the interests of older people in Wales, or the failure to make arrangements or discharge functions, through powers derived from Section 3 of the Commissioner for Older People (Wales) Act 2006.

The Review must be to assess whether and to what extent the arrangements are effective in safeguarding and promoting the interests of older people. 

In determining the interests of older people, the Commissioner will have due regard to the United Nations Principles for Older Persons and the Human Rights Act 1998.

Power of entry and interviewing

Under Section 13 of the Commissioner for Older People (Wales) Act 2006, the Commissioner, or a person authorised by her, may, for the purposes of a Review, enter any premises, other than a private dwelling, for the purpose of interviewing an older person accommodated or cared for there, and may interview the older person with their consent[1].



[1] Further details about the Commissioner for Older People Act can be found at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/30/contents