Nursing homes call for changes due to huge drop in placements

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 June 2019

Nursing homes are struggling due to a lack of placements.

Nursing homes are struggling due to a lack of placements.

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Nursing homes in North Somerset are in crisis due to a drop in residents being placed in their care.

Industry experts claim people are being placed in residential homes rather than nursing homes to save due to a change in how placement forms - known as CM7s - are completed.

Gordon Butcher, owner of Lyndhurst Park Nursing Home in Weston, also says the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) gives residential homes free nursing beds and equipment to cater for patients, when nursing homes have to pay for these themselves.

More: Care home crisis due to decline in beds.

It is only done in North Somerset, which has seen a huge drop in nursing home placement, compared to elsewhere in the country.

He said: "Three years ago, the North Somerset commissioners removed the back page of the CM7 and instead of nurses completing the form it's now only non-nursing staff.

"The result - we have seen a massive swing from nursing to residential home placements.

"The CCG now provides free of charge expensive nursing beds and specialist airway mattresses to all residential homes, in addition to funding a small dedicated team of community nurses to visit the residential homes.

"Bristol CCG adopted the same system but binned it as it was too expensive, South Gloucestershire looked at it and did not adopt it for the same reason.

"Now the three CCGs are one big commissioning authority, it's still only in North Somerset that this programme remains."

An analysis of the care sector in 2018-19, published by Knight Frank, showed there was an 89 per cent difference between residential and nursing placements in North Somerset compared to the difference nationally which is 0.8 per cent.

More: Care homes need help to prevent 'huge crisis' in the industry.

A CCG spokesman said: "We are reviewing the processes by which nurse-led health needs assessments (formally known as CM7s) are used to support decision making about where a person receives care.

"There are challenges faced by the care home sector across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, but the reduction in reliance on nursing home beds is down to the increased efforts of health and social care partners across the area to promote people's independence and reduce unnecessary care home placements."

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