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Inspectorate publish reviews of the care and support provided to older people in Wales

Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) has today published two companion national reports, reviewing care and support for older people in Wales.  The national review of prevention and promotion of independence for older adults considers the experiences of older people in contact with local authority social services, and the national review of care homes for people living with dementia examines the experience of people who have moved into a care home.

Although the inspection work had been carried out in 2019, publication of the reports had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National review of prevention and promotion of independence for older adults focuses on the lives of older people as they first come in to contact with social care services, and identifies a number of findings and areas of improvement to ensure social services and health boards contribute to improved experience and outcomes for people who need support. The findings and recommendations from the reports arose from inspection work carried out in collaboration with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW).

CIW looked at the progress made by all 22 local authority social services and health boards in supporting older adults to be as independent as possible. Although many positive examples of care were illustrated, CIW established that the duty to support people before they reach crisis was not consistently carried out across Wales.

During the review of dementia care delivered in homes across Wales, CIW carried out inspection visits to 164 care homes and spoke to people living with dementia and their families about the care they received. They also talked to commissioners and providers of care home services. Although there were many examples of warm and respectful care provided, CIW found areas where improvements can be made.

Inspectors found the main challenge for providers in care homes for people living with dementia was continuity of staff, the complexity of dementia, and the impact on the environment on people’s well-being.

Chief Inspector Gillian Baranski said:

‘During the pandemic we have been reminded of the importance of social care and healthcare services, and the need for them to work seamlessly together to promote the well-being of older people in Wales. There are clear parallels in the findings in both reports, and although they highlight much positive practice, there are still areas where improvements are needed. We are committed to ensuring the recommendations contained in these reports are implemented and will work with others to improve outcomes for older adults in Wales.’