Standards Expected in Care Homes in England
In October 2014, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) set out new and revised processes for the regulation, inspection and rating of residential adult social care services including care homes. This means that all care providers have to demonstrate that they are meeting the five key questions effectively in order to receive a successful rating following an inspection which assesses services against the CQCs questions.
The CQC asks all service providers the following five questions:
1) Are the services provided safe?
2) Are they effective?
3) Are they caring?
4) Are they responsive to people’s needs?
5) Are they well-led?
Safe provision means that people are protected from abuse and avoidable harm.
Effective provision means that people’s care, treatment and support achieves good outcomes, promotes a good quality of life and evidence reviewed/found supports this (evidence-based).
Caring means that staff treat people with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
Responsive means that services provided are well organised and meet people’s needs.
Well-led means that the leadership, management and governance of the care provider assures the delivery of high quality care which is person-centred. It should also support learning and innovation as well as promote an open and fair culture.
Inspectors use these five key areas in conjunction with other key lines of enquiry (KLOEs) to assess the care provider and make an informed judgement as to their rating.
The standards therefore that all care service providers should be meeting need to be demonstrated under the following areas:
- Equality and human rights – the range of rights a person has and how are these are exercised
- Monitoring the use of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (including the Deprivation on Liberty Safeguards) – assessment of how well providers are using the MCA to promote and protect the rights of service users
- Concerns, complaints and whistleblowing – how effectively providers handle these to ensure a safe, responsive and well-led provision.
Ratings are an important element of the inspection and regulatory approach. The use of the KLOEs and other evidence examined during the inspection helps to build towards the final rating and subsequent publication of the CQCs findings about the provider.
Services are rated outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. New fundamental standards are due to come into force in April 2015, introduced by the Department for Health which will replace the current registration requirements. These standards will be much clearer and focused as to the care that people should expect to receive.
Inspections are usually unannounced and will usually have specific areas of focus. To be rated as outstanding the CQC will expect the provider to be able to demonstrate that the service is outstanding. Where a provider is rated as inadequate, the CQC will use its enforcement powers to take appropriate action on concerns identified during the inspection.