Revealed: Majority of care home beds in Portsmouth are in '˜poor quality' establishments

POOR quality care homes have sparked a social care crisis in Portsmouth '“ with more than half of beds in the city in homes rated as substandard.

Thursday, 30th November 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 9:28 pm
An investigation has found that more than half of care home beds in Portsmouth are not up to standard

Nearly three in five care home beds in Portsmouth are in homes rated as requiring improvement or inadequate.

Portsmouth City Council and the city’s CCG are in talks to create a ‘quality’ team to tackle the problem.

But Steve Bonner, vice-chair and acting secretary at Pompey Pensioners Association, has blamed the knock-on effect of government cuts.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

He said many homes had closed in the last 18 months.

Mr Bonner said: ‘Clearly those that are remaining are cutting the cloth to manage the budget, which has been cut by the local council, so the level of care has falling.

‘The level of training and remuneration for the people in the private sector has reduced so we get a poor quality of carer attracted to it or pushed into it.’

Placements are often funded by the local authority’s social care budget, which have been slashed across the country by government. About half are privately-funded.

The CQC data, analysed by consumer body Which?, said 56 per cent of the city’s 1,147 beds required improvement or were inadequate.

That makes Portsmouth the fifth worst ranking in the country. Which? analysed 150 local authority areas.

Deputy council leader Luke Stubbs said: ‘We are considering with the CCG setting quality team in order to monitor and work with the private sector to improve standards.’

Private homes would have to agree to let the council in.

Responding to the figures he said: ‘The numbers that are coming in are a concern.’

Cllr Darren Sanders, a Lib Dem on the city’s social care scrutiny panel, said successive governments had tried to fix the problem with ‘sticking plasters’.

Portsmouth South’s Labour MP Stephen Morgan said: ‘This news is of real concern. And sadly older people and their families are being let down by the government and, yet again, it is Portsmouth people who are amongst the worst affected.

‘The Tories have slashed £6.8bn from social care and it’s about time they recognised that cuts have consequences for ordinary people.

‘The Chancellor had the perfect opportunity to address this urgent crisis in his budget and yet, shockingly, social care was not mentioned once.

‘Today’s news demonstrates how a generation that has given so much for this country is being left behind by the Conservatives. It’s not good enough; Labour would invest £8bn to give our older generation the dignity and basic care they deserve.’

The Hampshire local authority area – including Havant, Gosport and Fareham, came 47th out of the 150.

The area had 71 per cent of its 11,880 beds in its homes rated as good or outstanding.

Hampshire County Council’s top councillor for adult social care and health said the figures were good news but that more needed to be done.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, who represents North West Havant, said the authority was ‘committed’ to providing the best possible care for its older residents.

However, she said: ‘I would be lying if I didn’t say that I would want to see 100 per cent of our homes as either good or outstanding.

‘This is still good news. But our residents deserve the very best quality in care.

‘That is why as a council we will strive to make our homes the best possible standard.

‘I absolutely believe we have got to deliver the best possible quality for our residents.

Cllr Fairhurst said the county council was constantly working with site which fell below standards.

She added the authority had a programme in place to build more extra care houses for older people.