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Revealed: 22% rise in concerns over Welsh care homes

Concerns raised about Welsh care and nursing homes have jumped 22% over the past 12 months, according to new figures obtained by Plaid Cymru under the Freedom of Information Act.

Information from the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales show that they rose from 1,447 in 2013-14 to 1,768 in 2014-15. Between 2012-13 and 2013-14 the number of issues raised had almost doubled from 741.

The highest number of concerns in 2014-15 were highlighted in Swansea 218 (up from 184) but in Carmarthenshire they rocketed from 68 to 149 while in Conwy the numbers rose marginally to 149 –from 145.

The issues raised cover a wide range of concerns from neglect, quality of life, attitude and respect to physical and financial issues. The CSSIW said that 198 concerns raised with them were still active.

The response shows that concerns at homes were raised by professionals, relatives and friends and even the staff of providers.

The CSSIW said that while no prosecutions had been pursued in the 12 months’ to March 31, 2015 but three homes had been shut following enforcement action. They were Amber House, Conwy, Cae Glas Psychiatric Rehabilitation Care Home in Denbighshire and The Laurels Care Home in Rhondda.

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."

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