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Various shortcomings brought up during inspections of old peoples' homes

No action could be taken todate against homes that were faltering

Various shortcomings were brought up during 63 inspections of private or government-contracted old peoples’ homes, Parliamentary Secretary Justyne Caruana told parliament today.

She added that, in the absence of a regulatory authority, no action could be taken the homes which were faltering.

Introducing the Homes for Older Persons (Care Quality Standards) Authority Bill, Dr Caruana said that the Bill would address this issue through the creatiion of an authority, which would act as a regulator and watch dog over the operation of such homes.

She said the Bill would provide a specific legal framework for the operation and management of care and nursing homes for older persons with the ultimate aim being the protection of the physical, emotional and social well-being of older persons.

It also aimed at establishing standards that such homes had to meet to guarantee the well-being of older persons. 

Shadow Minister Paula Mifsud Bonnici questioned why all the appointees to the authority’s board were to be nominated by the minister.

She observed that Members of Parliament were not excluded from serving on the board of the authority.

Robert Cutajar (PN) noted that St Vincent de Paul had been excluded from the list of homes to be put under the microscope, adding that if it were required to comply with the conditions, it would “close tomorrow”.

Winding up Dr Caruana said Malta had placed first in EU statistics which rated the well-being of the elderly.

Responding to Mr Cutajar’s comments on St Vincent de Paul, she said that as opposed to the state in which it had been found by this administration, it was now a state of the art facility. 

Other residential care homes could not be expected to meet the high standards set at this residence, which offered round the clock nursing and consultancy services.

The Bill was unanimously approved.

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