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News - 28 October 2012

Are Care Home Ratings accurate?

Care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) stopped issuing its own star ratings in 2010 and now some homes pay independent ratings companies and consultants to assess them instead.

In an investigation by the BBC following complaints about certain homes, out of 80 homes in the Sefton area, 14 were failing to meet one or more of the essential standards set out by the regulator

Sefton Council recognises three independent rating companies, Prestige Quality Ratings (PQR), RDB Star Rating Limited and Assured Care.

All the homes found wanting were assessed by one of the three. The standards found lacking included standards of staffing, standards of treating people with respect and standards of caring for people safely and protecting them from harm.

The CQC is taking action against two of the highly-rated homes, demanding immediate improvements be made - although it is not known which company provided their rating.

All three ratings companies have defended their awards system.

Sefton Council, like the majority of local authorities, pays a quality premium to homes given a high rating by the companies - a residential or nursing home with five stars receives an additional £40 per week on top of the basic fee paid for each person in its care.

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:
“While the old Care Quality Commission rating system did have problems, it was at least a system which was nationally recognised, independent, and easy for the public to understand. Other organisations, such as local councils and independent companies, are creating their own systems - but this could be confusing because there is no consistency.”

The CQC warns people not to rely on ratings from outside companies when choosing a home.

If you need any help and advice on care Homes and Nursing Homes, contact Peter Ham, Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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