Dismal care, poor staffing at dozens of Dutch nursing homes
A large number of nursing homes can’t handle caretaker responsibilities for older people, according to a new report published by the Netherlands health inspectorate IGZ. There are severe concerns in 11 situations, with another 38 of the 150 studied care facilities not providing adequate health care. The 150 nursing homes have been under strict surveillance for the last year. A third of the nursing homes pay too little attention to quality and safety, but management at these locations have no plan or little knowledge to improve the situation. Half of the institutions do not report errors, or does not use the information to improve quality. In almost 60 out of 150 institutions, follow-up examinations are not given to monitor side effects from prescription medications. The report was also critical of the lack of knowledge care givers have in working with dementia patients. The report praised nursing homes for paying attention to patient and family member complaints, and making improvements in response. It also found that elderly patients get adequate personal attention, as well. As patients remain in their own homes for as long as possible, the care for elderly has grown increasingly complex. When they do choose for a nurse home, they need more and more complicated care. Many care facilities are not prepared for patients arriving with advanced care needs that have developed with age. Health secretary Martin Van Rijn is committing more investment into good nursing homes, and has vowed to shut down the worst offenders, he said in a statement. "Our elderly deserve the best possible care. This is why I scrapped structural savings of 500 million euros, and I freed up 200 million euros in funding for nursing care.” Van Rijn wants to see the results of the inspections released publicly, creating more transparency in the process. This information will be published on Kiesbeter.nl and Zorgkaartnederland.nl, with the hope that the added public knowledge will also lead to improvements in care.