Research by the Royal College of Nursing suggests care homes in England are struggling to provide high quality care for residents with complex medical needs.
The RCN surveyed 600 care home nurses, 38% felt there were not enough full-time registered nurses to provide the right care, while 26% felt they did not have adequate equipment. Nearly half of all nurses surveyed believed residents were accepted in a bid to fill vacant places despite their medical needs.
Around 75% of care provided in care homes is classed as nursing, this can range from basic tasks such as washing or dressing to more complex care for dementia patients and residents with heart monitors.
The research from the RCN comes a week after the Care Quality Commission raised concerns regarding the lack of NHS care, specifically GP’s in care homes.
Not enough nurses to meet the needs of residents
Dr Peter Carter, the RCN general secretary, said: "This report paints a hugely concerning picture about the many daily challenges that so many nurses in care homes face in delivering high quality care.
"Many of these challenges are not new but, following years of under-investment, these issues have now significantly worsened. When nearly two in five nurses say there are not enough nurses to meet the needs of residents, then you know that this is a worrying state of affairs.
"Even nurses who were positive about the quality of care felt it was delivered despite significant challenges."
Anne Osborn, a solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Clinical Negligence Unit said: “Care home residents often have more than one health problem, and many move directly from hospital into care. The findings in this report would be detrimental to any patient’s health let alone one who is elderly. This is a training, resourcing and staffing issue which hopefully this report will ensure is addressed.”
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