In 2019/20 the inspection team received 1,736 concerns, with 64 percent (1,117) related to adult care homes.
The concerns predominantly related to the leadership and management of services, and the quality of care and support provided for people.
Care Inspectorate Wales undertook a total of 858 inspections of adult care home services.
The inspection team also undertook a national review of care homes for people living with dementia, which was prompted by a lack of care in the Welsh language for those who require it, and concerns over the inappropriate use of antipsychotics.
They found that:
- In general, people and their families were positive about care provided in the majority of services.
- There was a need to improve access to support for people speaking Welsh as their first language.
- Staff training in dementia required improvement as did consideration of the environment in which people live due to the complexity of their needs.
- Medicines management was an area for improvement particularly in relation to antipsychotic medication. Secondment of a pharmacist to CIW during 2020-21 will provide an opportunity to develop relationships with pharmacy colleagues to support improvement in services.
- Providers were embracing new technology to improve services.
- Work needs to be undertaken to improve hospital discharge for people living with dementia.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of these last points.
The report also highlights some case studies of good practice in care homes. Examples included staff being sent on a dementia awareness course in response to a resident developing dementia, and using ‘every word matters’ posters to promote the use of the Welsh language within a home.
Other providers developed new ranges of activities to keep residents engaged during the pandemic. These included pets to hug and themed parties.
Looking forward, Care Inspectorate Wales aims to pilot working with providers who have multiple services at a corporate level, implement recommendations from their review of dementia care, and enhance their engagement with people to inform inspection activity.
By Bethany Hemsley