PRIVATELY-RUN care homes in Barnsley rated highly by inspectors are increasing in number - but social care bosses in the town admitted more needs to be done to drive up standards.

Members of the council’s scrutiny panel met on Tuesday to discuss adult care, which saw safeguarding bosses respond to questions about how the town’s care provisions are faring.

Homes in the town rated as ‘good’ during inspections by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have increased by 20 per cent since last spring, but the overall quality falls short of the national average.

Coun Charlie Wraith said: “The smell of urine often knocks you over and this should not be happening in this day and age. Privately-run care homes are not where they should be and you know that as soon as you walk in.

“The question I’d ask is this: would you put your mum and dad in? If the answer is ‘no’, there’s work to be done to drive up standards.”

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Coun Dorothy Higginbottom echoed Coun Wraith’s thoughts, and told the meeting that there was not enough good homes in the borough.

“Putting someone into care is one of the most heartbreaking decisions anyone will make in their life,” she added.

“The only reason it’s done is because people need help, whether that’s for a few days, weeks or forever.

“There are good care homes in Barnsley but there’s not enough of them. Families need to know their loved ones are being looked after well.”

Bosses told councillors that they’re ‘striving’ to increase standards in Barnsley by working in partnership with the homes and the CQC to identify where improvements can be made.

Lennie Sahota, director for adult social care at the council, told the meeting: “We are regularly visiting homes and that’s to make sure the services being delivered are in line the with what we have put in place.

“It’s very much about working in partnership to offer support and to raise quality.

“All recent inspections of care homes are being looked at, to see which areas they fall short in.

“We’re not where we want to be, but we’ve had a 20 per cent increase in ratings since last April and we’re striving to increase this further.”