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
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
'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.'
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
- 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
- Boarding Schools, residential special schools and FE Colleges
(welfare inspection only)
- Acute hospitals
- Mental health hospitals
- Maternity hospitals or clinics
- Abortion clinics
- Exclusively Private Doctors
- Private walk-in medical centres
- Independent medical agencies
- Establishments using the following prescribed techniques and
- Class 3B or Class 4 laser
- Intense Light Sources
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment