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Hunt: 'Far too many' failing care homes

The Health Secretary has said there are "far too many" failing care homes.

Jeremy Hunt said that he would not want his mother, father or grandparents to live in a number of care facilities in England as he announced new measures to tackle failing care homes.

Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary

There are many excellent home care providers and many outstanding care homes in this country but there are still too many where I would personally not want my mother or my father or grandparents to live in.

The public have been really shocked by stories of abuse and neglect and we need to give the public confidence that when these things happen they will be spotted quickly and acted on.

– Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary.

Mr Gove said Ofsted-style ratings would be given to care homes and care services and those that are labelled 'inadequate' could be put into special measures or even shut down.

Read: 'Special measures' planned for all care homes.

CQC defend 'special measures' for care homes

Some care homes "need that much longer" to turn around entrenched problems in the way the facility is run and warrant an extension of their time on special measures, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said.

Chief inspector of hospitals for the CQC, Professor Mike Richards, defended his decision to keep struggling care homes running despite damning findings from the industry watchdog.

Some of them are making progress, it is just that I am not confident that they can, if you like, go it alone. So I have recommended that they have a further six months in special measures.

– Professor Mike Richards.


Sir Mike Richards: Measures gives a focus on 'quality'

The chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has welcomed an expected announcement by Jeremy Hunt that care homes will face tougher inspections.

The Care Quality Commission's (CQC) chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards said:

We have seen significant improvements in almost all of the 11 trusts that were put into special measures, with exceptional progress in two trusts and very good progress in a further three.

The hard work by trust staff that has underpinned this progress should be recognised.

Special measures brings a new focus on quality improvement in trusts which have previously struggled to provide high quality care.

– Professor Sir Mike Richards

'Special measures' planned for care homes

Failing care homes could be could be put into a similar failure category as poor-performing hospitals, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to announce.

Mr Hunt will say that most of the hospital trusts that were put into special measures a year ago have shown significant improvements.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is set to announce new care measures for care homes. Credit: PA

From October more care services across England will now face a "tough" new inspection regime, he will say.

The services that are rated inadequate face being put into "special measures" and if they fail to make improvements following this they could be shut down, he will add.

Putting hospital trusts in special measures was a move introduced as part of the Government's response to the Stafford Hospital scandal.

Hunt 'very proud' of new NHS safety measures

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has told ITV News he is "very proud" that NHS hospitals are now publishing staffing levels in every ward on a monthly basis.

A new web page allows patients to hold their local hospital to account by looking at performance indicators.

The measure also means from next year patients will be able to compare staffing levels at different hospitals.

Mr Hunt said publishing more safety data was an "absolutely critical learning point" for the health service following the scandal involving Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.

Government probes child euthanasia claims

Health officials are investigating claims that terminally ill children have been illegally euthanised by British doctors.

An official investigation has been launched by the Department of Health into the allegations, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.

In February, retired GP Michael Irwin claimed that medics have given sick children overdoses with painkillers.

Jeremy Hunt said the Department of Health is probing child euthanasia claims. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

After being asked about the issue on LBC Radio, Mr Hunt said: "An investigation is now under way by my department.

"The police are not involved at the moment. I'm afraid I am not in a position to comment because it is highly sensitive."

Euthanasia is illegal in Britain but legal in other countries. In February, Belgium became the first country in the world to allow the euthanasia of children.


Elderly and seriously ill to get 'tailored GP care'

The Prime Minister has added to his bid to extend GP hours with plans to enhance care services for the elderly.

David Cameron said that around 800,000 people over the age of 75 and those with more serious health complaints will get tailored care, coordinated by just one local GP.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the move is "one of the biggest changes that we need to make in our NHS".

I want to make sure this is completely coordinated to head off problems and keep people from going to hospital unnecessarily.

– Jeremy Hunt

GP hours extension 'needs to be properly supported'

David Cameron's extensions to GP hours have been praised by NHS England, but a British Medical Association committee chair has said the changes must be properly supported.

Patients at 1,147 GP practices across England will be able to see their family doctor outside of working hours. Credit: PA

NHS England CEO Simon Stevens said the initiative could also free up time for GPs to spend with their sickest patients, giving it "the potential to be a win-win-win for patients, their doctors and the NHS".

But Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association's General Practice Committee, said a more holistic approach was needed "so that community, social and urgent care work in tandem".

He also said ministers must "deliver on their commitment to increase resources in the community," so that GPs can be properly supported.

Hunt: Mid Staffs 'a turning point like Chernobyl'

Jeremy Hunt has compared the Mid Staffs scandal to Chernobyl and the Bhopal gas disaster in an interview with ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener.

The Health Secretary said the accidents - both of which killed thousands and left many more injured - were "turning points" for their industries.

He said he hoped Mid Staffs would mark a similar change in the NHS.

Asked if similar negligence extended across the system, Mr Hunt said front-line staff have warned that "Mid Staffs wasn't just something that happened in one hospital".

RCM: Patient safety 'about the right numbers of staff'

NHS patients are best protected when wards have the right number of staff working, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has warned.

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of midwives, initially praised Jeremy Hunt's plans to make the NHS safer, but raised concerns over low staff numbers and lack of protection for whistleblowers.

I worry that I have heard this before from Governments without any real progress being made.

Safety is about having the right numbers of staff and high-performing teams working together to deliver the best care, and this is crucial if we are to deliver safe maternity care.

Safety also needs NHS staff being treated properly with trusts promoting open, honest and caring cultures if they are to get the best out of them; you can only have candour if staff feel their concerns will be listened to, they are treated with compassion and that they will be given the support they need.

– Cathy Warwick
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