Care homes for the elderly need to exist, and the majority of them do their utmost to provide a good standard of living. However, some businesses, like in any industry, attract negative publicity for various reasons, whether it’s a genuine concern, or an isolated incident that could’ve been easily resolved, but explodes into a media frenzy. In the public-eye, some of the reasons touted are more recurring than others and so need to be critiqued to see if there is any grounding for the accusations made.
The Internet makes it very quick and easy to voice a complaint, with anonymity and with little reason for doing so. Even though most complaints are quickly forgotten about when told in person, on the Internet they are etched onto the digital landscape, giving it much more potential to go viral.
Some of the most recurring issues raised in the media about the care home industry are:
Care homes into sheltered housing - This raises questions over whether the high-level of care will be at risk as sheltered housing no longer requires being subject to CQC inspections.
Inadequate care – In an isolated incident, a staff member may not follow policy and can put the reputation of the entire business in question. This is very hard to prevent, but issues must be regulated and resolved before it becomes a greater concern.
Company’s financial agenda – As a care home becomes more successful, its purpose is more likely to be scrutinised and its investments questioned. Is the care home spending enough money on the right facilities and is enough being invested on staff training.
Doing their best to turn the PR about around on the care home industry is Hallmark Care Homes. The staff are passionate about inspiring others and motivating those around them to do good work. The company is ambitious, though there are no plans to bring in outside investors. With outside investors, the company is cautious that it would be difficult to justify the investment in staff development when it may not improve overall turnover.
The owner, Avnish Goyal, says "Sometimes you can't put a number on something, but you know it's just the right thing to do and you'll see the benefits further down the line".