To somewhat relieve the families looking after elderly patients, senior citizens in need of care and treatment during the day can avail of the services of day care centres*. At night and during weekends they are then cared for in their home environment.
The German-speaking Community counts eight recognised retirement and residential care homes which are either publicly or privately managed.
To qualify for funding, these day care centres must adhere to specific recognition standards*.
The supervision of these retirement and residential care homes is a competence of the German-speaking Community that controls their compliance with legal provisions and grants official recognition.
Care quality and patient safety
Wallonia has not developed a specific qualitative approach. Its inspection work is therefore currently concerned only with the evaluation of organisational indicators (e.g. staffing standards) and some process indicators (e.g. the inspectors check whether the house officers’ files are properly kept).
Alongside inspections in the context of the approval procedures, it sometimes draws up recommendations on a specific subject or on the interpretation of a standard (e.g. restraint).
Monitoring and evaluation
The “on the spot” inspection of the day care centres is performed by the Flemish Care Inspectorate. The inspections take place as the result of recognitions, the awarding of grants or in response to complaints. In addition, monitoring inspections also take place to check the general operation.
The inspection may or may not be announced in advance and takes half a day. During the inspection the inspector speaks to the responsible coordinator and possibly other employees.
The government of the German-speaking Community mandates an inspector to control the compliance with legal provisions and to supervise the provision of care in the retirement and residential care homes. The inspector is entitled to carry out all examinations, controls and investigations deemed necessary.
The German-speaking community also subsidises building measures for recognised retirement and residential care homes and accompanies the “advisory council on residential, nursing and care facilities for the elderly and on home care” composed of representatives from homes managements, home care service providers, nurses, seniors associations and medical practitioners. The main mission of the advisory council is to follow current developments and tendencies and to deliver expert opinion and recommendations.
The main legal regulations about residential facilities for the elderly are the decree of 4 June 2007 and the implementing decree of 26 February 1997 about the standards that retirement and residential care homes have to meet.
The following link provides further information about the retirement and residential care homes in the German-speaking Community: "Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft Belgiens".
Wallonia is competent for the inspection and approval of the rest and care homes in its territory (except for the German-speaking Community), see the portal "Action Sociale et Santé en Wallonie".
To fulfil this role, the Department for the Elderly has six inspectors with backgrounds either in nursing or social care. Approval is granted for an indefinite period and inspections are nearly always made unannounced, based on a risk-assessment chart (large numbers of infringements, complaints, etc.).
Common Community Commission (Brussels):
The standards are checked by the inspection service and the health service of the Common Community Commission annually. In addition, there are inspections carried out when there is a change in the number of beds, a new manager, a change in the asbl such as the name of the asbl, address or the location, a change in the objectives of the institution or the recognition standards.
* See Glossary