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'WE ARE NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF SHUTTING CARE HOMES' - CARE STANDARDS CHIEF EXECUTIVE

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Care home owners should not be panicked out of business by ...
Care home owners should not be panicked out of business by

misinformation about the new national minimum standards, Ron Kerr,

chief executive of the National Care Standards Commission said today.

Mr Kerr was speaking in response to reports about the case of Alice Knight whose death was attributed to the closure of the Norfolk

home where she lived. The reports blamed the national minimum

standards for the closure.

'Our sincere sympathies go out to the relatives of Mrs Knight at this

distressing time. We would have been only too glad to discuss options

with the owners of the home where Mrs Knight lived. However, the

decision to close pre-dated the creation of the NCSC and the closure

process was already well underway before we came into effect on 1st

April.

'The national minimum standards are often inaccurately cited as the

sole reason for closure and this overlooks the many other factors

that may influence the owner's decision to close. These include

retirement, personal health problems, the desire to pursue other

business interests and to realise the value of their property.'

However, before an owner chooses to leave the market, they should

consider the option of selling the home as a going concern. This

would produce the best outcome for the residents because it would

mean that they would not have to leave their home.

Mr Kerr concluded:

'I do not think it is unreasonable for elderly people to expect good

quality care during the last years of their lives. The commission is

committed to improving the overall quality of the care sector in

England to enhance the welfare and protection of service users. The

standards will help us to achieve this'

'The majority of care homes have nothing to fear from the standards.

We are confident that many will already meet or even exceed the

standards by a long way. In cases where a home needs to carry out

work to comply with national minimum standards, the NCSC will work in

partnership with providers to develop a realistic action plan to help

them meet the relevant standards over time. The department of health

has issued guidance, which supports the commission's approach. It

must be borne in mind that, in the majority of cases, the physical

standards do not have to be met until 2007.'

Notes

The NCSC was established as an independent, non-departmental public

body, under the Care Standards Act 2000, to register and inspect a

wide range of social care and private and voluntary health care

services. This task was previously carried out by local authorities

and health authorities.

The NCSC is responsible for the registration and inspection of the

following establishments:

- Care homes

- Nursing Homes

- Care homes for Younger Adults

- Adult Placement schemes

- Domiciliary Care Agencies

- Nurses Agencies

- Children's Homes

- Residential Family Centres

- Independent Fostering Agencies

- Voluntary Adoption Agencies (from 2003)

- Local authority adoption and fostering services (welfare inspection

only)

- Boarding Schools, residential special schools and FE Colleges

(welfare inspection only)

- Acute hospitals

- Mental health hospitals

- Hospices

- Maternity hospitals or clinics

- Abortion clinics

- Exclusively Private Doctors

- Private walk-in medical centres

- Independent medical agencies

- Establishments using the following prescribed techniques and

technologies

- Class 3B or Class 4 laser

- Intense Light Sources

- Dialysis

- Endoscopy

- IVF

- Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

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