ECO Integrated Property Solutions delivered a hard-hitting presentation at the National Association of Safety and Health in Care Services (NASHICS) National Health and Safety Conference for Social Care in September.
The property solutions provider which specialises in care homes and the welfare sector explained the necessity for a comprehensive programme of property management to ensure the wellbeing of residents and compliance of the business, which could effectively save lives.
In front of an audience of care providers and health and safety professionals, ECO IPS director Robin Harris, spelled out how caring businesses could maintain high levels of operational care and faultless premises with particular reference to the Health and Social Care Act 2008.
Robin explains: “The role of care home manager is complex with many responsibilities including the wellbeing of the physical building as well as its residents. Risk assessments, asbestos surveys and health and safety audits are under the remit of the manager which creates an incredibly heavy workload for anyone in this position.”
Earlier this year a report by the Care Quality Commission revealed a quarter of care services were failing on safety, with over a third (37 per cent) of nursing homes failing to meet required safety standards. Five care homes have been prosecuted while a further thousand have been closed down or given warning notices.
“There is a direct correlation between the standards of the physical environment and the safety of residents as seen in a number of recent high profile incidents,” Robin continues.
“Outsourcing property management not only frees managers up to concentrate on the people they’re there to support, but also ensures total compliance in the heavily regulated care industry. Failure to record, manage and document correctly can have devastating consequences.”
He adds: “Whether you are dealing with reactive maintenance for damage or repairs, planned and regular assessments or larger scale projects like re-modelling and extensions, you need to source contractors who are competent, cost-effective and compliant. This can be a lengthy task and recording all this activity in the required format can be equally time-consuming. Leaving the health and safety compliance side of the business to experts allows care home managers to focus on operational care and the welfare of residents.
“We recommend finding a provider that has a deep understanding of the nuances of the care sector, access to a network of qualified and registered contractors and a data storage system that ticks all the compliance boxes and is fully backed up.”
The conference was organised to provide updates on health and safety issues in the care sector and was attended by care providers, owners and managers of care services and those with a health and safety remit in the caring industry.
ECO IPS was a main sponsor of the event and Robin Harris was joined on the list of expert speakers by representatives from the Care Quality Commission, Health and Safety Executive and the NHS.