_Consultation+-+Minimum+Stds+for+Care+Homes+for+Older+and+Younger+People

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					                                                                          APPENDIX 1

         DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH NATIONAL MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR

           CARE HOMES FOR OLDER PEOPLE AND YOUNGER ADULTS

                            CONSULTATION DOCUMENT


Background

1.   On the 23 July 2002, the Secretary of State announced proposals to consult on
     a set of revised physical environment standards for care homes for older people
     and younger adults. A response is required by 8th November, 2002.

2.   The aim of the proposed amendments is to remove the requirement for care
     homes which existed before 1 April 2002 to conform to certain physical
     environment standards. This means the deletion of the 2007 deadline for such
     homes to conform to the environmental standards. The consultation document
     proposes adding that a detailed description of individual accommodation and
     communal space provided should be part of the statement of purpose.

3.   The intention is to halt the number of homes closures where this has been
     because of the cost of meeting the environmental standards. The Commission’s
     inspection reports and the extent to which homes comply with these standards
     will be noted. These reports are available to the general public.

Policy Context

4.   Through its Modernisation Programme the Council is committed to providing
     services with the highest standards.

5.   The response to the Consultation on environmental standards forms only one
     element of the Council’s commitment to a modernisation programme for
     services for older people.

6.   The key issues are:

         The need to achieve a better balance of resources between use of
          residential care and being supported at home.

         The need for more specialist resources such as EMI, rehabilitation, respite,
          emergency placements and more choice in the range of services available.

      The need to deliver extra care housing.

      The need to develop a range of intermediate care services.

Proposed Response

7.   Through the modernisation programme, the Council is committed to providing
     services with the highest of standards. This commitment should be reflected
     across commissioned services as well.


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8.   The Council is concerned that so early in the application of National Minimum
     Standards that the Department of Health wishes to change environmental
     standards. The Council regards the proposed changes to be premature and
     signals the dilution of standards. They are, after all, minimum standards.

9.   The Council is of the view that there is sufficient flexibility with regards to the
     already issued guidance from the Department of Health (DoH) to the application
     of standards. Therefore arrangements already exist to allow providers of care
     homes to negotiate with the Care Standards Commission on how standards are
     met, and agree a way forward.

Alternatives

10. The Council welcomes the proposed changes to the Environmental Standards.
    The changes will enshrine guidance issued by the DoH, January 2002.

Implications of Recommended Option

11. Financial Implications – Nil.

12. Staffing Implications – Nil.

13. Equal Opportunities – Nil.

14. Crime and Disorder Implications – Nil.

15. Environmental Implications

     Council run homes currently do not meet environmental standards, If the DoH
     proceed with the amendments to the Environmental Standards all providers will
     have to declare in their Statement of Purpose where their home has deficient
     standards.

     Irrespective of whether the standards change, all Council run homes will require
     a robust maintenance programme. There will also be implications for rewiring
     each home, replacement of central heating systems, increased numbers of
     bathrooms and toilets and a staff call system.

     The three unfurnished homes will need to meet the standards in full, as they will
     be deemed to be new homes. For the remaining homes, additional information
     will need to be included in the Statement of Purpose and Service Users Guide.

Recommendation

16. It is recommended that the proposed response set out above be sent to the
    DoH.

Background Papers
 DoH Environmental Standards




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                                                                             ANNEX 1



DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH NATIONAL MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR
CARE HOMES FOR OLDER PEOPLE AND YOUNGER ADULTS
CONSULTATION DOCUMENT


Response from Gateshead Council is as follows:


Proposed Response

Through the modernisation programme, the Council is committed to providing
services with the highest of standards. This commitment should be reflected across
commissioned services as well.

The Council is concerned that so early in the application of National Minimum
Standards that the Department of Health wishes to change environmental standards.
The Council regards the proposed changes to be premature and signals the dilution
of standards. They are, after all, minimum standards.

The Council is of the view that there is sufficient flexibility with regards to the already
issued guidance from the DoH to the application of standards. Therefore
arrangements already exist to allow providers of care homes to negotiate with the
Care Standards Commission on how standards are met, and agree a way forward.

Alternatives

Through its Modernisation Programme the Council is committed to providing
services with the highest standards.

The Council welcomes the proposed changes to the Environmental Standards. The
changes will enshrine guidance issued by the DoH, January 2002.




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