The number of concerns raised over the quality of care at Welsh care homes has rocketed 22% in just 12 months, according to shocking new figures.
Figures obtained by Plaid Cymru under the Freedom of Information Act, show that concerns rose from 1,447 in 2013-14 to 1,768 in 2014-15. Furthermore, the number of concerns raised over the quality of care for vulnerable adults in care homes nearly doubled in the previous year from 741.
Issues include concerns of neglect, quality of life, attitude and respect to physical and financial issues.
Information from the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) highlight increased concerns in Swansea and Carmarthenshire. 218 issues were raised in Swansea (up from 184) in 2014/15 and rocketed from 68 to 149 in Carmanthenshire. Meanwhile, the number increase slightly in Conwyn from 145 to 149.
Of all the concerns raised with the CSSIW, 198 were still under investigation. Concerns were typically made by friends and relatives, professionals and even care staff.
Even though the CSSIW had not pursued any prosecutions in the 12 months’ to March 31, three care homes had been shut down following enforcement action.
Plaid Cymru’s Social Services Spokesperson Lindsay Whittle AM said: “The increase in concerns raised about homes once again highlights the importance of a regulatory system that protects older people.
“There is certainly no room for complacency given what has been highlighted at homes in England in recent years.
“I’m pleased that the CSSIW has acted where standards at homes have found to be sadly wanting and taken action to close them down. Having said that, the overwhelming majority meet the necessary standards of care and some really excel.
“Excellent care and treating with dignity are essential to residents of our care and nursing homes,” added Lindsay Whittle, who last year raised concerns about the running of a care home in his South Wales East region with former Social Services Deputy Minister, Gwenda Thomas.
Lindsay Whittle added: “As a member of Assembly health committee we have been considering the provisions of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill. Its proposals include the reform of the regulatory regime for care and inspection and also the inspection regime for local authority social services functions.
“I support any proposals that will raise standards and help safeguard and protect our older people.”