Nursing homes 'don't provide minimum care'

10th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

10 September 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The Health Inspectorate claimed on Friday that Dutch nursing homes were seriously falling short on providing minimal care to residents and ordered the sector to solve the crisis by the end of this year.

10 September 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Health Inspectorate claimed on Friday that Dutch nursing homes were seriously falling short on providing minimal care to residents and ordered the sector to solve the crisis by the end of this year.

The inspectorate's report said nursing homes fail to provide permanent supervision to sufferers of dementia, residents are often tied down and they are offered insufficient assistance at meal times. Nursing home personnel are increasingly unqualified.

The findings were based on an investigation conducted at 60 nursing homes in response to repeated signals of failings in the sector, varying from pajama days — in which residents were not dressed for the entire day — and residents missing out on showers.

The inspectorate said further investigation into the cause of the shortcomings is necessary, claiming that the problem is not due to poor management only, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

But the director of branch organisation Arcares, Mariëlle Rompa, sharply criticised the inspectorate's research methods, particularly the questions asked. She also said the investigation gave a "digital picture" that did not give insight into the actual quality of care.

The inspectorate used research criteria dating back to 2001 which it had developed in co-operation with branch associations and client councils. The criteria established the minimum level of care required.

The guidelines were drawn up after a personnel shortage was identified in the summer of 2000. Included in the document were 10 so-called alarm bells requiring nursing homes to alert the inspectorate if their standard of care fell below the acceptable minimums. The inspectorate received very few reports.

In the past year, 60 of the 317 Dutch nursing homes were assessed, with inspectors speaking with management, nurses of 111 departments and 103 residents.

Almost 80 percent of the nursing homes were found to offer insufficient care and 25 percent fell short on daily care and showers were primarily restricted to once per week.

Permanent supervision of divisions housing elderly people with dementia was lacking in 75 percent of the homes and residents in two thirds of the nursing homes inspected were at times tied down. Compared with the start of the 1990s, personnel are less educated and increasingly unqualified.

The inspectorate has warned the nursing home sector that it must guarantee the minimal necessary standard of care for residents by the end of this year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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