At least a dozen local authorities are listing vulnerable people’s details – including their age and what care and medication they need – before inviting bids from care homes in the area.
The bidding is sometimes open for only a few hours, at other times it can last for two or three days. The cheapest offer often wins.
Critics last night said the system was akin to ‘auctioning your granny’ and a ‘cattle market’, saying sensitive decisions about an elderly resident’s final years are being made by a computer programme that is only interested in costs.
It also means the patient or their family often does not see the care home, and that those running the home do not see the patient before they arrive. (Read more about the elderly being auctioned off to eBay to the cheapest nursing home HERE)
Are England’s Failing Standards in Nursing Homes Forerunners of the US Experience?
By Gail Champion. One in five care homes for older people in England fail to meet set national standards for safety and care, a report by 5 live Investigates suggests.
Research by healthcare analysts LaingBuisson examined inspection records for almost 10,000 care homes, and found 20% had failed to meet at least one key quality measure.
5 live found cases of residents washed in cold water or left with scabies.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) called the figures “disappointing”.
In October 2014, the care watchdog – the CQC – introduced a new “tougher” inspection regime for care homes. (Read more from this story HERE)