National Minimum Standards for Care Homes

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2002 Retired Members' Conference
10 October 2002

This Conference is disappointed to note that when announcing the National Minimum Standards for Care Homes, the Health Minister, Alan Milburn, backtracked on some of the initial promises.

As a result the National Minimum Standards will now apply guidelines on factors such as room size and single occupancy to new homes only. There will be no requirement for existing homes to provide older people with a choice of whether they want to share their bedroom or have easy access to a bathroom.

This Conference fears that the new care standards could create a two-tier system in which people who cannot afford to pay for their care will be placed in homes that do not meet the minimum standards.

This Conference believes that to have a single room in a care home should be a basic right for any older person, essential to their dignity. It should not be based on where a person lives or their ability to pay.

Therefore, Conference requests that the National Executive Council and Affiliated Political Fund apply pressure to the Government to reverse long-term underfunding and ensure that the money it has committed to supporting older people is used to enable realistic care rates to be paid so that all care homes can meet the National Minimum Standards being introduced in 2007.