News story

Government launches care comparison website

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Information to help people choose, compare and comment on residential care homes and home care services is now available on NHS Choices.

Older lady using laptop

The new care profiles provide the most comprehensive source of information on care services. Launched today by Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb, they help people to search and compare residential care homes and other care services and make confident choices about registered care for themselves or family members.

The profiles bring together information from a variety of sources, including:

  • official information from the Care Quality Commission inspection reports on care services

  • information from care providers on the specialist services and facilities they offer, with details of staff and other useful information such as sample menus, photos of rooms and gardens

  • comments from the public, service users, residents and their families on their own experiences of the care provider, including links to other comment sites

  • from next month, the ability for the public to give services star ratings

  • official Ofsted-style rating for care services, when they are introduced

The profiles are available on NHS Choices and sit alongside easy to reference information on entitlements to care, paying for care, organising a care need assessment and other practical advice.

More than 8,000 care providers have already added information about their services to their profile on the website, and many more are expected to do so.

Examples of completed profiles include:

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said:

A fully open, transparent and comprehensive service like this will leave bad care nowhere to hide. This means better standards and quality of care across the board.

By reading about the experiences of others, people can make confident choices about their care and help providers know where to make improvements, if needed.

Over the coming months, care homes and other registered care and support services will be able to add details on how they perform against specific standards such as number of falls, bed sores, medication management and training of staff, as well as missed and on-time visits for homecare.

The site will also allow care providers to reply to comments from the public, so that they can explain to people why they operate in a particular way and, if relevant, what they are doing to improve things so providers and the public can have an open conversation.

It is part of bigger programme of work to improve the quality of care and support in England, and was first announced in the Care and Support White Paper in July 2012. The Department of Health has set up other initiatives in the sector to improve the quality of care, including a new Code of Conduct and Minimum Training Standards for adult social care workers, a new leadership strategy and an assessment programme.

This will lead to a greater standard of care for people in care and will mean that care and health services are better organised around people’s needs.

Published 25 April 2013