NEARLY half of care homes in Portsmouth are rated requires improvement or inadequate, new figures have shown.
Data compiled by older people’s charity Independent Age shows 46.5 per cent of care homes in the city have the bottom two ratings.
It is one of seven areas with a figure higher than 40 per cent.
Nationally, the number of care homes rated inadequate or requiring improvement increased in one in five English council areas last year, according to new analysis.
While the overall percentage of homes receiving the Care Quality Commission’s bottom two ratings fell compared to the previous year, every English region had at least one local authority where the proportion rose in 2017.
Independent Age blamed low levels of funding from local authorities, poor pay and difficulties recruiting staff, as well as the lack of a good support mechanism for struggling homes to call upon.
Janet Morrison, chief executive, said: ‘Older people and their families are still facing an unenviable choice between poor care homes in some parts of the country.
‘While it is encouraging there has been an overall improvement in quality, this masks persistent variation in the quality of care homes within each region of the country.
‘The market simply does not seem to be able to drive the rapid improvement needed in many areas.’
Dominic Carter, of the Alzheimer’s Society, described the figures as ‘shocking and shameful’ and said the 70 per cent of care home residents with dementia were ‘at the mercy of a system on the brink of collapse’.
‘The government must act now, with meaningful investment and a fresh approach to delivering care, or the system will collapse and people with dementia will continue to suffer needlessly,’ he said.