£67m Boost For Care Homes To Improve Facilities And Privacy

The government is to give £67m to care homes to improve facilities and allow residents greater privacy, the care services minister, Ivan Lewis, has announced today.

{mosimage}The Department of Health said 7,000 homes will benefit from the funding, which will also be used to encourage residents to take exercise and improve access to the internet. Mr Lewis said the aim was to improve the lives of tens of thousands of people and their families.

“I know how important it is for people living in care homes to have an environment they are happy in and that they are proud to call home,” he said.

“This supports the excellent work of health and social care professionals, the voluntary and independent sectors and carers – both family and paid – who work passionately together every day to continually improve the lives of older people.”

The money is part of the health department’s Dignity in Care campaign, which aims to spread best practice and drive up standards. Some will be used for basic refurbishment such as replacing worn-out carpets to reduce the risk of falls; upgrading residents’ bedrooms and bathrooms; and improving care home gardens or outside spaces.

Help the Aged welcomed the funding, but the charity’s senior policy advisor, Annie Stevenson, urged action to improve staff status. “Improving the physical environment is only one piece of the jigsaw…It is just as crucial to recognise that investment in the care home sector workforce is also vital to lift its status and to improve morale and potential to meet future needs,” she said. “Without this, the dignity agenda in this area will wither on the vine.”