Public fears grow over care home infection risks

New research reveals that care homes across the country are facing lost revenues due to customer fears around infection risk.

According to the nationally-representative survey into 2,000 members of the public, more than one in three respondents (34.5%) said they are less likely to trust care homes with their loved ones’ care due to fears around infection.

The findings also revealed that the overwhelming majority of the public (80.5%) would be reassured by visible proof that a care home takes cleanliness and infection control seriously. Significantly, 10.7% would be less likely to use a care home that did not have this proof, and 6% would no longer use a care home that could not prove that they adhered to the highest standards of hygiene and infection control.

The research was carried out by infection control specialist JLA, a trusted partner to thousands of care homes across the UK, as part of its “Infection Insights” campaign to improve industry standards, customer reassurance and peace of mind across the care sector.

Over a fifth (20.4%) of the public also currently hold a poor opinion of hygiene and infection control in care homes, and do not believe standards are currently at the levels required.

Just under a third (30.1%) feel confident that care homes are clean and sanitised, and a further 10.7% reported that they believed standards are “excellent”.

Ben Gujral, CEO at JLA, said: “The events of the past year have laid bare the need for care homes to do everything they can to reassure anxious residents over the coming weeks, with major growth opportunities in store for those that do invest what is needed now.

“Expectations of the businesses customers will trust their money – and their loved ones’ health – with are virtually unrecognisable from even a year ago and, at a time where care homes need the continued loyalty of their customers more than ever before, it is crucial that they action all possible infection control measures to put the public’s minds at ease.

“Care homes that take the time to do this now will reap the benefits over the coming months, providing reassurance to those who need it, and ensuring the loyalty of customers both old and new for years to come.”

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