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Care home death rates to be monitored

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is to monitor death rates in care homes and nursing homes throughout England to try and identify problems with care provided at an earlier stage.

In particular, the regulator states it is to trial a system whereby noted high death rates would trigger an investigation.

Currently, care homes are required to report to the CQC when a resident dies. However, a recent BBC Panorama investigation found that some homes had not been doing this.

The CQC have said that it will consider sanctions for those who do not comply.

The move comes amid the Mid-Staffordshire scandal where higher than expected death rates at two hospitals indicated problems of poor care.

According to the CQC, one third of care and nursing homes in England are not meeting all the necessary standards.

The regulator says that it is determined to identify poor care earlier.

The CQC told Panorama that along with looking at death rates, they want to introduce specialist inspectors and gather more information for residents’ families and the care home staff.

Melanie Lidstone Land, expert medical negligence lawyer at Swain & Co, says, “It is important that the care regulator monitors death rates in these homes, as well as ensuring that they are fulfilling their legal requirements to report deaths to the CQC.”

“We are talking about people’s lives, and where poor care may be responsible for a person’s death, it is vital that the family of that loved one knows the truth and, of course, that appropriate action is taken to prevent the same happening to another resident.”

Melanie is part of our medical negligence team who work with our community care lawyers to provide advice and assistance to vulnerable people, including the elderly, the disabled and those suffering mental illness.

We can help with a variety of matters, including:

•             Medical Negligence

•             Social Services Assessments

•             Adaptations to the home

•             Residential care

•             Non-residential care and support

•             NHS care and support

•             Benefits and Grants

•             Funding of Care

•             Disputes and Compensation Claims

•             Mental Health Problems

•             Abuse of the Elderly and Safeguarding

•             Care planning

•             Mental Capacity

•             Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)

•             Negotiating Best interests decisions and attending Best Interests Meetings

•             Court of Protection applications and challenges

•             Enduring / Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship Orders


We can offer advice under Legal Aid and, where appropriate, on a no win no fee basis.

If you need advice or assistance with any of these issues, please call our community care solicitors now on 02380 631111 (Southampton) or 02392 483322 (Havant/Portsmouth).

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