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10th June 2016

National Care Home Open Day

Occupational therapist opening homeThis Friday 17th June sees the 4th National Care Home Open Day taking place across the country, and it seems to be going from strength to strength. We all need to do what we can to change the wider public’s view of care as the only time care homes seem to be in the news is when something bad has happened.

The general phrase is that whatever is in the press will be ‘tomorrow’s chip paper’, implying it will be forgotten quickly – but this phrase is as out of date as using newspapers to wrap fish and chips! Bad news sticks these days and the whole sector gets branded as uncaring, poor quality and out for everything they can get. We all know this is not the case and it is a shame that the industry has to organise a public show of the good work that care homes do, but I bet the Daily Mail won’t be running a front page article on the positive experiences of people attending the open days across the country.

However, I want to raise some wider thinking about the open days that are happening across the land – If you are planning, one what are your reasons? Is it genuinely to show the world how good care can be, or is it to try to fill beds or recruit staff?

You need to consider the views of the people living in the care homes. It is always said that the care home is their home – so, how would you feel if all of a sudden loads of strangers appeared apparently uninvited in your home, putting their heads round doors and asking questions? I know that I would feel scared, maybe angry and certainly put out.

I don’t want to rain on the parade of Care Home Open Day, I really encourage everyone to embrace it. There are so many examples of successful, joyous and inspiring events taking place – but if people are running one there is a need to be clear why they are being organised, and to make sure the people living in the home are all in favour of it as well.

If you want to get involved with care home open day it is still not too late, you can sign up at The theme for this year is ‘celebration’ and there are lots of resources and ideas to make your day go with a bang.

So, good luck and hope the marquees being erected will be used to provide shade for everyone rather than shelter from the rain!

Ed Watkinson - QCS Director of Care Quality


Business Support Manager

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