LONDON — Nursing homes across Britain have complained that a nursing home is an abomination to them after residents said the facility was crowded, cold and unhygienic.
More than 300 nursing homes have been closed or closed for up to three weeks because of the problem, the National Health Service said in a report Thursday.
Many have asked for help from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, the health authority that coordinates nursing home closures.
“We are in a situation where we are seeing a significant number of patients, and we have a lot of people on our wards, and there is very little time,” said Dr. Caroline Allen, a social worker who has been managing nursing homes in the city of Bristol for the past five years.
In Bristol, the average occupancy rate for nursing homes is 24 percent, and the city’s average nightly occupancy rate is 17 percent.
Nurses and their families can leave the home and return to the care of another nursing home within a 24-hour period, but the home’s care staff have been told to stay at home for 24 hours and be allowed to visit patients.
It’s not just the nursing homes that are struggling.
The National Health and Care Information Service said many of the facilities that are being shut down for up-to-three weeks because they don’t meet regulations, lack proper ventilation and do not meet health and safety standards.
A spokesman for the NHS said the problem was the result of a “significant shortage of staff” who are unable to stay in the care facilities.
For many, nursing homes are seen as a respite from a job that is hard and taxing, he said.
Health authorities across Britain are working with nursing homes to help staff and patients stay at the homes, the spokesman said.
“It is vital that the NHS works with the local authorities to get this problem sorted out so that patients and their loved ones are able to be at home,” the spokesman added.