Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Private nursing homes: contribution to long stay care of the elderly in the Brighton Health District.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 04 October 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:867
  1. J Bennett


    Two surveys of private nursing homes, designated geriatric wards, and a sample of social service part III homes were carried out in the Brighton Health District using questionnaires supplemented (in the second survey) by some interviews. The dependency of old people in the private nursing homes was more like that of long stay hospital patients rather than that of residents in social services homes. In the private nursing homes, however, a smaller proportion of patients were in the medium to heavy nursing category (178 (31%) compared with 158 (63%) in the hospital long stay wards) and a larger proportion in the heavy nursing category (170 (30%) compared with 44 (17%) in the long stay wards). Of the patients in private nursing homes, 401 (82%) were local residents, 488 (86%) were long stay, and 459 (88%) were women; their mean age was 88 years. Two thirds of the patients were over 80. There were no significant differences between the private nursing homes and the wards in nursing workloads or staffing, except for a slightly higher provision of state registered nurses in the private sector. In the private nursing homes 348 (63%) of the patients had fees paid by private funds, 26 (5%) were in contract beds paid for by the National Health Service, and 176 (32%) were subsidized by the Department of Health and Social Security. Private nursing homes make a substantial contribution to the care of the elderly in the Brighton Health District, and the health authority should develop a more active partnership with this sector.