How do things compare?

Our new report on care home quality gives us a chance to compare this year’s care home ratings with last year’s results. As you can see, dramatic variation in the quality of care homes at a regional and local authority level across England continues to exist. The North West is the worst performing region when it comes to the proportion of satisfactory care homes, while London and the East of England are the best performing regions.

Our maps show how care homes are performing this year, compared to 2017. Take a look to see how care home quality in your local area is rated.


Maps comparing care home performance in England in 2017 and 2018

2017 and 2018 maps of care home performance in England

There's been improvement...

The number of 'Good' and 'Outstanding' rated care homes has increased, and the number of 'Inadequate' and 'Requires Improvement' rated care homes has decreased. You can find details for each local authority in our report.

This is great news! We are delighted to see positive change in care home performance across the country.

But there's still a long way to go

Whilst the overall national picture looks promising, things gets more complex on a local level. There is still huge variation in care home quality across different regions.

2018 figures show that, for 1 in 5 local authorities, the proportion of care homes rated 'Inadequate' or 'Requires Improvement' has gone up. This means, there has been an increase in the percentage of homes rated not good enough for at least one local authority in every region.

Although some local authorities have shown significant progress, there is still a lot of work to be done. For example, there are five local authorities that have seen an improvement year on year and yet still have over 40% of their care homes rated 'Inadequate' or 'Requires Improvement'.

What are we going to do?

Independent Age has been calling for all older people to have access to a good care home if they need one.

Last year, campaigners contacted 96% of relevant MPs to tell them about the 8 care home quality indicators that we developed to help people make informed choices about their care home. We are working with local Healthwatch organisations across England to make sure these are implemented.

How can you help?

The local elections are coming up on 3 May and you may get candidates standing for your local council knocking at your door. If you want to make sure that they understand that social care is a priority, here's what you can do:

  • Ask them how they plan improve care home quality in your local authority. You can use the figures from our report to show them what's happening in your area. If your rating has improved, you can say: "This is great - how do you plan to make sure we keep improving?"
  • Tell them about our 8 care home quality indicators and ask them to look into working with your local Healthwatch to implement them. You can find out more about our indicators here.
  • Talk to them about your own personal experience of care - this can be one of the most powerful ways you can help change things.