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House: Tougher rules for care homes

A new law to improve care standards in nursing homes for the elderly is on the cards.

And Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, promised that enforcement powers will also be boosted to ensure standards are met.

Ms Wilson told the House of Assembly: “The Bill creates a more flexible and efficient regulatory framework to raise standards over time and focus on quality.

“The amendments also aim to incentivise compliance and address non-compliance and ensure a transparent and fair process for care home operators.”

Ms Wilson was speaking as she tabled the Residential Care Homes and Nursing Homes Amendment Bill in the House.

She said: “Significantly, the Bill includes fundamental components of the Protection of Persons in Care Act that I proposed earlier this year, while in Opposition, to enhance reporting of abuse and powers to intervene.”

Ms Wilson added: “Enhancing the regulatory environment for care homes will be an ongoing process — and these amendments set the stage for continued progress in improving standards and regulation.

“Future phases of amendments will update the regulations and continue to enhance the code of practice to better respond to broader long term care initiatives.”

Ms Wilson told MPs that the island's 22 care homes had 395 residents, most of them elderly, but some aged under 65 with physical or mental problems and were operating at full capacity.

She said: “Some struggle financially to meet the reality of the high cost of this type of care.

“It is because of these demanding challenges and our commitment to our elders and most vulnerable in society that we have ensured the continuation of strategic initiatives that address long term care.”

Ms Wilson added: “This government does not take lightly the realities of an ageing population and the challenges facing our long term care system.”

• To read Mr Wilson's statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”

Minister of Health Kim Wilson (File photograph)

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Published November 17, 2017 at 12:52 pm (Updated November 17, 2017 at 2:13 pm)

House: Tougher rules for care homes

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