January 2016 – Quality and regulation of care homes

 By law, all care homes in the UK must provide services to minimum standards of safety and quality.

Every care home in the UK must be registered with its national regulator, different for each country in the UK.
In England: the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
In Northern Ireland: the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)
In Scotland: the Care Inspectorate
In Wales: the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)

These national regulators are independent watchdogs responsible for:

  • setting national minimum standards for care homes
  • monitoring and inspecting care homes to make sure that the services they provide come up to scratch.

Minimum standards in care homes

Each of the four regulators has set minimum standards that a resident of a care home should expect. These standards are documented and can be downloaded from the respective regulator’s website. The following represents a broad summary of the type of rights expected for residents in a care home. Your relative should be:

  • treated politely and with dignity
  • able to have privacy for themselves, and with relatives and friends when they visit
  • able to deal with their own finances and spend their money how they choose
  • able to eat food prepared in line with their faith and to worship when and where they want to
  • able to choose food, and given the time and space to relax and enjoy the meal
  • able to choose when they get up in the mornings and go to bed at night
  • able to complain if they are unhappy with their care.

Care home inspections

Care homes should be inspected regularly to ensure that they meet minimum standards and are delivering quality care. How often they are inspected depends on the rating they received at the last inspection, and the feedback given by care home residents and local authorities. Generally, those care homes with poor ratings or negative feedback will be inspected more frequently than those that are doing well.

Regulators can inspect care homes at any time.

Care home inspection reports

Following an inspection of a care home, details of the findings are written into a report. These reports are publicly available – you can request a copy from the care home or the regulator. For providers in England, take a look at the ‘Which’ Care services directory which has a link through to each of the latest CQC inspection reports. They also show the new CQC inspection ratings, which show if the service is:

  • safe
  • effective
  • caring
  • responsive to people’s needs
  • well-led.

These reports can be very useful when choosing a care home.

In Wales, the CSSIW does not provide ratings for care homes, although the reports they produce include the same type of information.

For more information on improving Care Home Premises,

call our helpline on 03333 355 938 or email us HERE (more@tvefm.co.uk)

The above is courtesy of ‘Which’ at which.co.uk.

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