Score rating for care homes

A NEW star rating for care homes has been launched by a national watchdog giving people the chance to easily compare services for the first time. The Commission for Social Care Inspections (CSCI) has introduced a new quality rating system for care homes,

A NEW star rating for care homes has been launched by a national watchdog giving people the chance to easily compare services for the first time.

The Commission for Social Care Inspections (CSCI) has introduced a new quality rating system for care homes, with homes awarded between zero and three stars, according to whether they are considered poor, adequate, good or excellent.

Across North Herts, Stevenage and Mid Beds seven care homes scored the maximum, 29 were good, while eight were judged adequate. The one home classed as poor on the CSCI website, Potton House Nursing Home in Biggleswade, actually scored one star in its report as shown by owners Craig Moore Health Care and acknowledged by CSCI.

Manager of Wymondley Nursing Home, David Kelsall, whose family business was awarded three stars, said: "I think the key is the staff. We don't employ agency staff. Most of our staff have been with us since we opened. It's the staff that make the home.

"Often homes can be staffed by people who don't really care what they are doing. They might not be all that interested in the people they are looking after. If you have staff that take a pride in working somewhere then it shows through in time.

"Some homes tend to be more hard-nosed when it comes to business, especially homes that are part of larger groups. If I owned 20 homes and lived in the south of France I wouldn't know if someone's TV was broken.

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"When you are in the trade you get to know the good and bad homes. Have a look and detect if staff are happy to work there or whether it's just a job."

Manager at three star Stagenhoe Sue Ryder Care Centre in St Paul's Walden, Fran Short, said: "It means we have staff who are committed, enthusiastic and well trained. Training plans for staff and feedback from residents are important."

A spokesman for the CSCI said: "The scores reflect everything from the decoration and carpets to the personal care and everything in between - such as staff management, complaints and protection.

"It's nothing to do with value for money. Cost is a commercial consideration and not something we consider in our quality ratings. But we have noticed in our inspections that there isn't necessarily a correlation between standards and cost."

A spokesman for Help the Aged said: "We think the CSCI offers a very viable and important service. The CSCI is one of the major watchdogs and it is crucial. There's no point offering a service if it's not regulated - it's a key way to get improvements."

CSCI chairman Dame Denise Platt said: "These quality ratings reward the best providers with the recognition they deserve. They are also an incentive for the poorest to improve or risk losing business in a competitive marketplace."

The CSCI is a government quango set up to monitor and improve social care. Standards in homes are judged according to the National Minimum Standards for Care Homes set by the Department of Health.

Nationally, around 70 per cent of homes achieved a two or three star rating, with only three per cent falling into the poor category.

The CSCI website has published ratings for 70 per cent of all registered care providers. The remainder will be published as they are inspected, with over 90 per cent expected to be online within the next six months.

For the full scores go to www.csci.org.uk

Commission for Social Care Inspection scores (correct as at May 15 2008)

3 stars = excellent

2 stars = good

1 star = adequate

0 stars = poor

North Herts

3 stars:

o Lavender Fields

Lavender Fields, Lucas Lane, Hitchin

o Monread Lodge

London Road, Woolmer Green

o Stagenhoe Park

Sue Ryder Care Centre, Stagenhoe Park, St Paul's Walden

o Wymondley Nursing Home

Little Wymondley

2 stars:

o Ashwood Place

Off Sunnyside Road, Hitchin

o Baldock Core and Cluster

Coach House Cloisters, 10 Hitchin Street, Baldock

o Benslow Nursing Home

Benslow Rise, Hitchin

o Burleigh House

Letchworth Road, Baldock

o Elmside

Elmside Walk, Hitchin

o Freeman House

Radburn Way, Letchworth GC

o Gosmore Nursing Home

Hitchin Road, Gosmore

o Halcyon Days

The Old Rectory, Church Lane, Graveley

o Highbury Rise

Highbury Road, Hitchin

o Minsden

Wratten Road West, Hitchin

o Pirton Hall

Pirton Road, Shillington

o Sloe Hill Residential Care Home

Mill Lane, St Ippolyts

o St Catherine's Nursing Home

Spring Road, Letchworth GC

o The Letchworth Mental Health Project

Springshott, Letchworth GC

o Trembaths

Talbot Way, Letchworth GC

o Walsworth Road

Walsworth Road, Hitchin

o Westbourne

Bedford Road, Hitchin

1 star:

o Osbourne Court Care Home

Park Drive, Baldock

Not yet rated:

o Bulwer Lytton House

Lytton Fields, Knebworth

o Foxholes Nursing Home

Pirton Road, Hitchin

o Guysfield Residential Home

Willian Road, Willian

o Providence Court

Providence Way, Baldock

o The White House Nursing and Residential Home

Gillison Close, Letchworth GC

Stevenage

3 stars:

o Scarborough House

Scarborough Avenue

o Southcliffe House

Ripon Road

2 stars:

o Bide A While

Brick Kiln Road

o Fellowes Way

Fellowes Way

o Life Opportunities Trust

Hitchin Road

o Manor View Nursing and Residential Home

Manor View

o Newhaven

Drakes Drive

o Windsor House

Windsor Close

o Wisden Court

Wisden Road

o Woodlands View Residential and Nursing Home

Magpie Crescent

1 star:

o Martins House

Jessop Road

o Winnett Cottage

Hertford Road

Not yet rated:

o Jenny Chapman House

Shephall View

Mid Beds

3 stars:

o Pemdale

Nursery Close, Potton

2 stars:

o Cedar and Douglas Units

Broad Street, Clifton

o Allison House

Swan Lane, Sandy

o Chase House

House Lane, Arlesey

o Wren Park Nursing and Residential Home

Hitchin Road, Shefford

1 star:

o Home Farm Trust

Hitchin Road

Shefford

o Hollycroft

Church Street, Langford

o Magnolia House

Station Road, Biggleswade

o Meppershall Nursing Home

Shefford Road, Meppershall

o Park House Care Centre

Mill Lane, Sandy

o Potton House Nursing Home

Potton Road, Biggleswade

Not yet rated:

o Country Bungalow

Potton Road, Everton

o Sheridan House

Bedford Road, Sandy

o The Limes

High Street, Henlow

o The White House

Brookside, Campton, Shefford

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