Nursing home standards across Britain could deteriorate as a result of the public sector spending cuts, according to the chairwoman of the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Dame Jo Williams said conditions in care homes could suffer if there is less money available for entertaining residents, staff training and repairing dilapidated buildings.
Speaking in The Independent, she said: "Financial issues are going to weigh very heavily on quality issues.
'The providers will be asking themselves what can I do to cut corners?'
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services revealed that public money available for each nursing home is likely to fall by around 3% annually for the next three years as a result of spending cuts.
But Dame Jo insisted that the Commission would be taking an increasingly tough line to make sure essential standards are still met in care homes across the country.
'Money is a challenge,' she said.
'Our focus has to be on essential standards and how we monitor those standards. We will be looking at those services that are risky and are likely to put the public at risk.
'Quality in our terms is making sure a service is safe - but it is also about how you're treated. It's about staff remembering your birthday, calling you by the right name and engaging with you as well as maintaining your dignity.'
Dame Jo revealed that more than a third of 234 health and social care institutions recently inspected revealed 'worrying' lapses in standards.
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