Wales politics

Care home inspections 'no longer fit for purpose'

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Media captionA new law will make care home owners more accountable for their services

The director of one of Wales' leading social care providers has said the sector's inspection regime is no longer fit for purpose.

Anne Thomas, of Linc Care, made the comments in light of Welsh government plans published on Tuesday to strengthen care homes regulations.

A new law will make care home owners more accountable for their services.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said lessons had been learned from previous care sector scandals.

These include the collapsed Operation Jasmine, the UK's biggest investigation into alleged neglect at nursing homes in south Wales, which was carried out by Gwent Police.

The operation ended after the owner of some of the care homes concerned, Dr Prana Das, suffered a brain injury and could not stand trial.

Ms Thomas said: "The level of acuity and dependency in nursing homes has changed dramatically over the past few years and the current regulation really looks at the wrong things and so it's great to have something that looks at the kind of evidence that we need to provide [to show] that we're looking after people well."

According to the Welsh government, the Regulation of Social Care Bill will:

  • Rebalance accountability in the social care system away from just those working on the frontline to ensure employers and company owners and directors also share responsibility
  • Introduce a new model of regulation allowing regulators to press for improvement across a provider's entire range of services if deemed necessary
  • Ensure annual reports are produced and published by all social care providers so performance can be compared
  • Reconstitute the Care Council for Wales as Social Care Wales

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: "We have learned lessons from Southern Cross, Mid Staffs, Winterbourne Operation Jasmine and other scandals where people being cared for were badly let down by services."

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