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Call to change way care homes are run

19th October 2011

The charity Sue Ryder, which specialises in looking after people at the end of their lives, has called for major changes in the way care homes are run in Britain.

It believes they should be governed for residents, by residents.

A report drawn up for the charity by the research group Demos on the future of care in Britain looks particularly at how to ensure services fit with patients' personal needs and preferences.

When it comes to care homes, it suggests a major step forward would be in giving residents a strong say in staff recruitment, purchasing equipment and organising activities and other major issues.

Patients Association chief executive Katherine Murphy said that care homes are often the only homes many residents know.

“Unless they have some say in how it is run, they can feel like they have been robbed of control over their lives and their independence,” she said. “Giving residents a chance to agree on how their care home should be run is a big step in changing this.”

However, Nadra Ahmed from the National Care Association said: “It’s a laudable ambition and it’s what we’d want to happen. Regrettably more and more residents coming in are past the point of being able to make those choices. So we have to talk about shared responsibility with family and friends.”

Steve Jenkin, director of health at the charity Sue Ryder, said: “Some homes really do engage with individuals and with families and friends. We all need to learn from the excellent services that there are.”

 

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