A checklist is now available to families choosing a care home – following a Serious Case Review into failings at Orchid View in Crawley.
West Sussex County Council is joining forces with GPs to hand out a checklist of information when they talk to people about choosing a care home or care in their own home.
Making the decision to access care services is a big step and there can be a lot of information to take in all in one go.Cllr Peter Catchpole
The checklist includes prompts and questions reminding people to think about care plans and Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports.
Nineteen people died at Orchid View, Southern Cross Healthcare privately run home in Crawley between 2009 and 2011.
An inquest in 2013 ruled that five of the deaths were caused by sub-standard care and neglect, with witnesses reporting residents were locked in their rooms and underfed.
A Serious Case Review into Orchid View made more than 30 recommendations to reduce the likelihood of a repeat of incidents of substandard care, management and neglect such as that at the home. Raising awareness with residents about good care and what to look for when choosing care was one of the things that came out of the Serious Case Review.
A spokeswoman for West Sussex County Council said: “Making a choice about care is one of the biggest decisions people have to make.”
The checklist is being trialled in Crawley.
If it proves popular, there are plans to extend it to other communities around West Sussex.
Peter Catchpole, County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Making the decision to access care services is a big step and there can be a lot of information to take in all in one go.
“We hope these checklists prove a valuable source of information. They have lots of prompts about questions to ask or areas to find out about so that people can build up a clearer picture of what to expect and what to look for when choosing care.”
He added: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group on this pilot project as GPs are often the first point of contact with people when these sorts of conversations take place.”
Dr Laura Hill, Clinical Director for NHS Crawley CCG, said: “Choosing the right care for yourself or someone you love is very important, but it can also be very difficult. Being able to recognise high-quality care that puts the individual at the centre is critical.
“We want to help our patients and their carers to ask the right questions and look for key things when researching or visiting different homes to ensure that when they make the decision for themselves, it is the right decision.”
Meanwhile, the new West Sussex Care Guide is now available, containing important information to help residents make choices when considering care.
A spokeswoman for West Sussex County Council added: “As well as a benefits and payments checklist, the Care Guide lists care at home services and care homes in West Sussex, split into the northern, southern and western areas of the county.
“It also has lots of information to help people stay in their own home and includes a raft of information on day care and community care services, extra care housing schemes and support for carers.”
The checklist can be viewed online on the West Sussex County Council website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/careguide where hard copies can also be ordered.
Copies are also available at social care offices, libraries and GP surgeries across West Sussex.