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May 27, 2019

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Care homes need better qualified personnel

Shanghai still needs to promote the comprehensive quality of staff in nursing homes, according to a report released by the Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The report was produced based on a survey of local nursing homes for senior citizens conducted by the university between August 2017 and April 2018.

It described the general conditions of the nursing homes and evaluated them with indexes in six categories, including facilities, environment, staff, management, services and satisfaction rate.

Although there are complaints about a shortage of beds in nursing homes, the research showed that there were still vacant rooms, especially in suburban areas.

According to the report, the occupancy rate of nursing homes was 82.68 percent on average, far beyond the national level of 52 percent.  Those located between the Inner Ring and the Middle Ring reported the highest rate, which was 93.38 percent, while those outside the Outer Ring had the lowest rate, which was 75.64 percent.

According to the survey, more than 92 percent of the nursing homes provided daily care and entertainment services. 

The report said more than 80 percent of the surveyed nursing facilities had doctors, over 67 percent had nurses, nearly 51 percent had social workers, and more than 61 percent had health-care centers.

Among all the nursing staff, care workers accounted for the largest proportion, which was 59.3 percent, while professional doctors and nurses only took up 4.23 percent and 4.92 percent.

But the report cautioned most care workers had a poor education background. 

Specifically, 87.27 percent were educated at middle schools or lower-level educational institutions. Further, 91.2 percent were women, and 51 percent aged 51 or above. 

The small proportion of professional medical staff indicated there was a large capacity for nursing homes to improve the professional level of their services.

“According to the guidelines set by the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, each nursing home should have at least two registered nurses, one social worker or psychological counselor, one physical therapist and a nutritionist,” said Huang Gang, president of the university. 

“More than half of the 700 nursing facilities in Shanghai need more professional staff.”


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