Ratings boost care level

COUNCILLORS say it is important as many people as possible know about a new grading scheme for care homes – which shows a rise in standards.

Hartlepool Borough Council annually reviews care homes in a bid to ensure high standards are met and maintained and the latest gradings show a rise in the number of homes receiving the top marks, up from six out of 21 last year to 11.

The adult services committee met yesterday to discuss the grades, which showed no care homes in Hartlepool have been awarded the lowest grading of four.

Members said it is important that people are aware of the Quality Standards Framework (QSF) gradings to make sure they have all the information around the care, environment and staff training when they are choosing a care home.

The gradings determine what fee levels the care homes receive from the local authority, while it also provides families and carers with the information they need to make an informed choice.

Independent councillor Keith Fisher said it was important the information was freely available to people and their families.

Jill Harrison, assistant director of adult services, said the information is available on the council website, www.hartlepool.gov.uk, and booklets in public buildings including libraries and the Civic Centre.

Mrs Harrison added: “There has been an improvement with 11 care homes now achieving the top grade.”

It shows further improvements and as a result, 11 of the 21 care homes achieved the top Grade 1 rating, nine rated as Grade 2 and one rated as Grade 3.

The weekly fee levels are £469 for an older person living in a Grade 1 care home, £445 for Grade 2, £422 for a Grade 3 and £399 for an older person living in a Grade 4.