Night care can occupy up to half of a 24-hour care regime. Yet there has been relatively little attention paid to the management and practice of night care in the care literature and it does not appear to be a strong focus of Care Quality Commission’s inspections.

It is often assumed that because most residents of a care home will be asleep through the night hours, they will require considerably less staff attention and therefore fewer staff made available. This assumption needs to be tested by careful assessment of residents’ night care needs so that the staffing provision can fully address the identified needs in person-centred ways.

Night care staff need to be recruited, trained and deployed in line with night care demands. They need to be included in all staff training and supervision and have their work regularly monitored and reviewed.

Management must develop and implement effective night care policies and strategies to make sure that residents always receive high-quality person-centred care, which could involve the use of suitable new technologies.

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