Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Social Care, Janet Finch Saunders AM, has called for a stronger dialogue between care homes, NHS Health Boards and Local Authorities to improve the standard of care for people in a care home.
Currently, more than 15,000 people aged over 65 live in a care home in Wales and the average age that someone moves into a care home is nearly 83 years, with an average stay of around 2 and half years.
Speaking in the Welsh Assembly this week, Finch Saunders wanted to highlight some of the excellent work that care homes are doing and to raise concerns that the number of care homes in Wales dropped by 30 homes in less than three years. Shockingly it is predicted that 16% of care homes in Wales will close in five years’ time.
As part of Janet’s call for a stronger dialogue, the Shadow Minister would like to see:
- The Community Care Information system, with the digitalisation of patients records, extended so that care home staff can access relevant information about their client to benefit their care
- The inclusion of nursing training placements into care homes, enabling a greater understanding of the different roles within the sector
- A greater use of care home staff, after training, to undertake regular checks of clients including blood pressure and temperature readings to reduce the pressure on local NHS facilities.
Commenting, Janet Finch Saunders AM, said:
“Care home staff have a wealth of information which could transform the care of some patients in hospital. I have already had it confirmed to me in writing that health boards are allowed to organise walk in clinics in a non NHS setting, and know that some homes are keen to open up to the local community where they can, such as by holding intravenous therapy clinics.
“When visiting care homes I have seen the passion staff have for looking after their patients, and been pleased to listen to how they, the people working in the sector think we could do more to care for care homes and ensure the sustainability of the sector as more people are living longer.”