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How you respond to online reviews is crucial to care home success

Poor responsiveness to online reviews is driving negative attitudes to care homes, a new report shows.

The 2021-22 care sector report by Reputation finds that review response rates by care homes remain lower than 50 per cent – although overall engagement has increased.

Compared to 2020 response times in 2021 increased by just over one third.

The report notes that review volume is continuing to grow for the sector with a record number of reviews being posted online in 2021.

Much of the positive sentiment in care home reviews centres around ‘staff professionalism’ and ‘nursing care quality’.

Negative reviews tend to focus on mentions of ‘doctor’ and ‘staff’.

These key findings illustrate the digital transformation that is continuing in the UK’s care sector. A spokesman for Reputation said: “Care home operators need tools that enable them to “seek and act on feedback”, as demanded by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of their drive to use feedback to make operational improvements, they must respond to reviews in a timely manner while maximising drivers of positive sentiment through review requesting. Doing so will enable them to rank higher in Google search results and thus increase occupancy rates. 

According to a survey by Knight Frank, care home costs are expected to rise by as much as 30 per cent in 2022. Labour shortages and climbing insurance costs are driving the increases.  

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