In the know: care home regulations
When it comes to residential care, there are a number of things to take into consideration – including physical and mental basic needs, and there are minimum requirements in place to ensure that everyone receives appropriate and quality care.
When looking for a care home for yourself or a loved one, you can use the national standards as a checklist to give you peace of mind and a better idea of they experience that you may have with care homes that you are researching.
Who sets the standard and regulates?
To ensure that minimum needs of care are met, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulate care homes in England and provide guidance for improvements where needed. They are an independent, people-first organisation that ensure that the national standards are met for anyone needing residential care, including those whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.
Not only do they inspect, monitor and regulate care homes, their staff and their services, but they regularly publish their findings and provide ratings which can help prospective residents and their families make a decision.
How inspections are carried out
Inspections can be carried out routinely, or at short notice if a care quality concern has been raised. As an independent regulator, the CQC will conduct inspections by visiting the care home, talking to residents, their families and staff, before bringing in ‘experts by experience’. These are people who have a deep understanding and knowledge of quality care, and can provide invaluable guidance and measures if changes are needed.
The CQC will also take a look at systems and processes to make sure things like confidentiality, recruitment and training are all conducted in a way that meets the national standard.
Should they believe that a care home is falling short on what’s expected of them, the CQC have the power to:
- Issue fines
- Give formal warnings
- Prevent the care home from taking on new residents
- Suspend or cancel a care home’s registration
How to check a care home’s standards?
Not only should care homes be publishing their quality reports or have them easily accessible for anyone who wishes to see them, but the CQC also have a guidance tool on their website too.
You can check the quality of care for prospective care homes that you are considering and even look back over historical reports too to give you a better idea of how the home has been run in the past and any issues it may have faced.
What should you be looking out for?
There are a number of minimum standards that a care home needs to meet in to ensure that the wellbeing of their residents is kept front and centre. A responsible care home will meet these, but an exceptional one will take things above and beyond what’s expected.
- Person-centric care – care must be tailored to each resident through the use of a personal care plan.
- Food & drink – residents must be given ample food and drink to keep them in good health.
- Dignity & respect – day to day this means giving residents and visitors privacy when they request it and provide the necessary support for them to feel independent.
- Consent – before any treatment is administered the resident or anyone legally acting on their behalf must give consent.
- Safety – staff must have the relevant qualifications, experience and skills to maintain the wellbeing of residents, and health and safety processes followed.
- Confidentiality – care homes must keep personal records, including medical records, up-to-date and confidential.
- Safeguarding from abuse – protecting them against neglect, unnecessary restraint, degrading treatment or inappropriate limits to freedom.
- Premises & equipment – tools and equipment must be in good working order, clean and secure.
- Complaints – care homes must provide a clear complaints procedure and investigate any raised.
- Staff – anyone working with residents needs to have the appropriate support, training, qualifications, be competent and supervised if needed.
- Fit & proper staff – proper checks must be done into employee backgrounds such as criminal records (CRB check) and previous work history. A recruitment process must also be followed.
- Duty of candour – provide support, explanation and apologise if anything should go wrong – transparency is key.
- Display of ratings – care homes should clearly display their CQC rating at the home, on the website and make the latest reports readily available.
It’s common practice for care homes to appoint a registered manager that’s responsible for making sure care conditions are above the minimum. If you’d like to find out more about either of our two residential care homes in Weymouth, please call Peter Fry 01305 78 78 11.
See the Latest CQC report for Friary Care – Friary House and Kingsley Court, Weymouth