National standards – does the Government really want to know?
Early in the debate on the Centre for Policy on Ageing’s proposed national standards, Caring Times acted quickly to alert providers to the issues. Editor Geoff Hodgson says that, either by accident or design, it has been difficult for care home owners to make their voices heard in the corridors of power. Mixed messages on the national standards consultation paper “Fit For The Future” have emanated from the Department of Health. Owing to what the DoH describes as “distribution problems” many care home owners and operators have been unable to access the consultation document and the department has been silent in response to calls for an extension to the deadline date for receiving responses and submissions. On the other hand, Stephen Mitchell, a senior civil servant, was at pains to assure the annual conference of the National Care Homes Association (NCHA) that all resonses and submissions would be taken on board regardless of when they were received. Mr Mitchell addressed the NCHA conference, held in October,