New licensing standards for nursing homes set to kick in by 2015

Nursing homes will have to screen their residents for mental health conditions and come up with activities to keep them occupied.

Besides looking at the emotional and social well-being of residents, nursing homes will also have to look at the seniors' health too, such as performing oral hygiene care for them daily and refer them to treatment if necessary.

These are part of the Ministry of Health's enhanced licensing standards for nursing homes here, which are slated to kick in by 2015. The new standards were drafted by a committee comprising nursing home operators and health-care professionals.

In addition, nursing homes have to work on enhancing their organisational structure too. This includes providing channels for staff to provide feedback.

Currently, there are more than 60 nursing homes run by voluntary welfare organisations and private operators.

The Ministry of Health has launched a public consultation on July 5 to gather feedback. The public can share their opinions on the new licensing standards by sending an e-mail to by August 2.