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Care homes to meet 'the mum test' to pass inspection

Photo: PA

Britain's care homes will need to pass "the mum test" if they want the seal of approval from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), according to fresh guidelines.

Inspectors will have to ask themselves if they would be prepared to leave their own parents in a care home before they rate it, the CQC said.

Credit: PA

Care home standards have been undergoing a complete overhaul after a number of scandals showed vulnerable residents abused by the very staff meant to be looking after them.

The mum test is part of the CQC's new handbooks on care home standards which have been produced after an extensive eighteen month consultation.

Specialist teams, including trained members of the public (called Experts by Experience), will inspect services, unannounced, against what matters most to the people who use them – testing whether they are safe, caring, effective, responsive to their needs, and well-led.

CQC chief Andrea Sutcliffe Credit: PA

The CQC will then rate these services as Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate so that the public has clear information to help them make choices about their care.

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission said the new regulatory model "has people right at its heart".

We will ask the questions that matter most to people who use services, listen to their views, take action to protect them, and provide them with clear, reliable and accessible information about the quality of their services.

The detail in the handbooks is about making the Mum Test real. On their visits, I will ask our inspection teams to consider whether these are services that they would be happy for someone they love and care for to use.

– Andrea Sutcliffe
Care minister Norman Lamb Credit: PA

Care minister, Norman Lamb said the new guidelines "marked a turning point" for the way people were cared for in the UK:

Gone is the tick-box exercise for inspecting care homes and home care – now we are listening to the views of the people who rely on these services and have tougher checks to make sure they are getting safe, compassionate care from staff who are supported by good managers.

– Norman Lamb