Wonderful help for Care Home searchers


Registered User
Sep 23, 2005
Hi, Mum has AD and has been in a nursing home for just over a year. Have had to find alternative care for her and amongst other sources of help I was told about the Commision for Social Care Inspection which carries out regular inspections - often un announced - on care facilities including care homes. Not only that but they also produce and publish detailed reports (and summaries) for the homes they inspect and you can access thes reports by logging on to their website which is www.csci.org.uk You can search for homes within 5,10. 15, 20, miles of your home by putting in your post code and bingo! up comes a list of them all and you can then read or download the reports which are very detailed. Sorry if this is old news for people - I am very new to the business of caring for Mum and all that is involved. Hope this news may be of help to anyone out ther struggling with deciding upon wher to get the best care for their loved ones. Best wishes, Hugh:)


Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
Hi Hugh

It is a useful website and one I have used a lot. I would just urge people to not use it as their ONLY source of reference. I have read glowing reports of care and/or nursing homes and then visited them and been horrified, thinking I was in a completely different place! ALso, although some of their visits are unannounced, many of them are announced and obviously if the management are expecting a visit from the inspectors then everything will look marvellous!

The CSCI are also your first port of call if you want to make a formal complaint about a home and do not want to first make the complaint to the home. You can also lodge an anonymous complaint.

I think the best possible recommendation you can get for a home is from someone who has used it, either a resident or relative or friend who visits frequently. Obviously the same applies to warning against some homes!

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Thanks for this, Hugh. Just bookmarked. I am hoping I don't ever need to go down this route but thanks to everyone here sharing also realise I can't be an 'ostrich' forever and must look at every possible option for the short/medium/long-term future.....


Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
Just Looking . . .

Hi Hugh,

Personally, I have found the Commision for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) web site to be very useful when trying to research care homes.

The advanced search that lets you search by post code and specify care homes that take people with dementia (with or without nursing) is exceptionally helpful. I found the inpsection reports gave a good initial indication of a home's character, and did help me draw up shortlists of places to visit - though a paper report is never a substitute for a visit or series of visits.

The one real eye-opening aspect of the CSCI search was how relatively few care homes were licenced to care for people with dementia. My in-laws live in a large town in Essex (Colchester) and yet, at the time we were looking, over a year ago, there were only two homes licensed for new admissions with dementia (the CSCI results sometimes return homes that are licensed to care for specific named individuals with dementia - presumably long-term residents who have developed dementia after entering the home). All the other homes were some distance (10+ miles) away and my mother-in-law does not drive.

Also, the two local homes each had waiting lists. We put my father-in-law's name down for both as a precaution. Homes understand that when a place becomes available, the person might not be in need of it so they can continue to stay on the waiting list almost indefinitely, but should get priority if the need arises in future.

So far, with the help of outside care assistants, my mother-in-law is still managing to care for my father-in-law at home. But my husband and I felt that visiting care homes in the area gave us a better idea of what the situation was like and helped dispell some of those hazy notions of what a care home was. Several appeared very good - with a real sense of warmth and compassion in dealing with very vulnerable people.

If anyone thinks that their loved one might need a care home in the next 12 months or so (as if anyone can predict that sort of thing), I would urge them to get out there and have a look - just to learn what the situation is like in their area.

Take care,