An NHS manager hopes to improve national care standards by launching what she says is the first live, independent ratings website for care homes.
Emma Challans is general manager of the orthopaedics and trauma clinical service unit at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals Foundation Trust.
She said she was driven to set up www.carehomeadvisor.com after observing the “really difficult” decisions that people faced about entering the care sector when leaving NHS facilities.
She said information provided by the Care Quality Commission’s registration system did not have the “sensitivity” people needed when deciding where to place an older relative.
Ms Challans has spent the past 12 months working on the project and plans to launch it at the end of this month.
Every care home in the UK will have a page on the website. The public will be asked to share comments and provide a star rating on a home, reflecting factors such as dignity and respect, cleanliness, clinical care, communication, food and cost. She told HSJ she hoped the free site would provide “rich information first hand that will hopefully help people” while also acting as a “catalyst to help improve standards and quality in care homes”.
She said she hoped it would also benefit the NHS by helping patients and their relatives to make decisions “sooner rather than later” on care homes, potentially reducing bed days.