NICE consults on advice to help care homes support mental wellbeing of vulnerable older people


London, UK (July 5, 2013) – With the UK’s population getting increasingly older and stories relating to care home neglect in the news, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is developing advice for care homes to help them promote the mental wellbeing of older people by supporting and empowering those they look after.


In 2011, there were just over 10 million people over the age of 65 living in the UK[i] with more than 400,000 living in care homes[ii]. In the next 20 years, the number of older people in the UK is expected to rise to 16 million[iii]. With so many people over the coming years likely to need extra care and support in their old age, the draft quality standard published for public consultation by NICE aims to support care homes to provide consistent and high quality services to ensure all people in their charge lead lives that are as happy and fulfilled as possible.


Professor Gillian Leng, Director of Health and Social Care at NICE, said: “The issue of care for older people is becoming increasingly pertinent in our ageing society. While most people will receive excellent care and support, others may not. For instance, some care home workers may find it hard to look after someone who appears disengaged or depressed when actually all they might need is a little extra support to lead a more fulfilled life.


“A decline in mental wellbeing should not be viewed as an inevitable part of ageing and it’s important for older people to feel secure, happy and empowered to take control of their care wherever possible to give them the best quality of life. We hope the advice that we’re developing will give care homes the help they need to ensure they’re providing consistent, high-quality support for every person in their care.”


The draft standard, which is available to view on the NICE website as part of a public consultation, is being developed by an independent committee involving specialists in social care (including a care home representative and Director of adult social services) and public health as well as people with their own experience of the social care system. Proposed measures include putting older people at the heart of decisions about their care; ensuring they are seen as individuals and that their care reflects this; giving them opportunities to participate in activities to promote their health and wellbeing and spotting possible signs of ill-health before problems get too serious.


The consultation is open until Friday 2 August after which the advice will be finalised and then published later this year.



Notes to Editors


The draft quality standard on mental well-being of older people in care homes is available to view on the NICE website from Friday 5 July 2013.


Once published, this will be the third quality standard produced as part of the Institute’s new social care role.


NICE quality standards identify describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in a defined care or service area. They are derived either from NICE guidance or guidance from other sources that have been accredited by NICE, and apply across the NHS and/or social care in England.


The draft quality standard on the mental wellbeing of older people in residential care will, when published, consist of specific, concise and measurable statements that, when delivered collectively, should contribute to improving the effectiveness, quality, safety and experience of care of older people living in care homes.



About NICE


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for driving improvement and excellence in the health and social care system. We develop guidance, standards and information on high-quality health and social care. We also advise on ways to promote healthy living and prevent ill health.


Our aim is to help practitioners deliver the best possible care and give people the most effective treatments, which are based on the most up-to-date evidence and provide value for money, in order to reduce inequalities and variation.


Our products and resources are produced for the NHS, local authorities, care providers, charities, and anyone who has a responsibility for commissioning or providing healthcare, public health or social care services.


To find out more about what we do, follow us on twitter @NICEcomms




This page was last updated: 04 July 2013



National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 05.07.2013 (tB).


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