The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has joined forces with the Patients Association in order to make sure that any concerns relating to the standard of care given to the elderly can be dealt with more efficiently.
The CQC is an independent regulator of all health and social care services in England, and is mainly responsible for ensuring that the standards of quality set by the government are being met.
Its partnership with the Patients Association is seen as a way being able to reach out to more people, and gather more direct accounts of the care in which the elderly have received.
The Patients Association is a charity that receives more than 8,000 calls to its helpline each year, and is run by a network of volunteers and ambassadors.
Chief executive David Behan believes that the potential information gathered by the charity is one that could be a vital resource in ensuring that care for the elderly is kept at a high standard.
He said: "We rely on information from the public to help us target our inspections. This important resource helps us to protect and promote the quality and safety of the care patients receive.
"As a number of recent reports, including our own State of Care report, have highlighted, there is a clear need to drive improvements to the care older people receive."
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of The Patients Association said: "Health and care services must listen to the public when they complain about the quality of care they receive.
"Every day patients and relatives contact our helpline to report poor care. Working with the CQC is important in driving improvements in the care experienced by patients, wherever it is identified."
Many of the services catering for the elderly will be hoping to follow the example of Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, which caters for elderly patients from across West Surrey and North East Hampshire.
Its standard of care was recently given top marks by the CQC, with the regulator so impressed by the service that it did not have any recommendations to make.
The CQC's decision to award the hospice such a favourable review was also vindicated by the decision by the College of Occupational Therapists to hand her the Merit Award for outstanding contribution.
The news has delighted chief executive officer Sarah Brocklebank, who paid tribute to those who had made donations to the hospice, and said that its performance in passing the inspection was testament to its determination to provide the best quality care to its patients.
She said: “I hope these two independent endorsements reassure our supporters and local community that every pound they donate to the Hospice is a good investment. We work tirelessly to provide high quality care as well as to raise the £15,000 a day needed to pay for this care.”
If the CQC's plans to reach out to even more patients succeeds, then the standard of care given the elderly patients may soon be placed further under the spotlight.
Written by Alex Franklin Stortford
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