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New ratings for Care Providers across England

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) which is the independent regulator of health and social care services in England, is about to introduce a new system of rating health and social care services.

Starting from October 2014 and extended to all care providers by April 2015, a new system of inspecting health and social care services will be introduced across the country.

Lead by larger and more specialist teams of inspectors and experts with experience, who will be asking the basic question of “would I feel comfortable with a loved one using this service?”

There will also be 11 fundamental standards which all service must meet:

  • Person-centred care; care and treatment must be appropriate and reflect the needs and preferences of the service user.
  • Dignity and respect; service users must be treated with dignity and respect
  • Need for consent; care and treatment must only be provided with consent.
  • Safe care and treatment; care and treatment must be provided in a safe way.
  • Safeguarding service users from abuse; service users must be protected from abuse.
  • Meeting nutritional needs; service users’ nutrition and hydration needs must be met.
  • Cleanliness, safety and sustainability of premises and equipment; all premises and equipment must be clean, secure, suitable and used properly.
  • Receiving and acting on complaints; complaints must be appropriately investigated and appropriate action taken in response
  • Good governance; registered person must be open and transparent with service users about their care and treatment
  • Staffing; sufficient numbers of suitably qualified , competent, skilled and experienced staff must be deployed
  • Fit and proper persons employed; person employed must be of good character, have the necessary skills, qualifications and experience

Care providers will hold individual ratings on whether their services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led, based on a scale of ‘Outstanding’, ‘Good’, ‘Requires Improvement or ‘Inadequate - plus an overall rating of the service.

Providers which are found to be inadequate or requiring improvement can be put under special measure to improve the quality of service. This will mean more regular inspections until it is felt the quality of service has improved to the required level, providers who fail to comply can face closure and even criminal prosecution

What does all this mean?

The social care industry as a whole has been under the spot light for several years, we are all aware that as a society we are getting older and long term care needs are increasing. Our NHS is under pressure as a result, and so too are families who support the needs to their loved ones which may require a little extra help to ensure a good quality of life.

These changes to how the industry is to be regulated are really aimed at putting the users of care at the heart of the industry, and ensuring that the level of support they receive are what any of us would expect.

The CQC is aware that there have been failing in the sector and trust has been lost in the integrity of it as an organisation. This is the first of many changes to be introduced over the coming 12 months as a means to change the public’s perspective of this vital organisations and the industry which it regulates.

It is very important to say that the vast majority of care services are meeting all standards and in many chases exceeding them!

In a recent survey carried out by TrustedCare of care service users and their family members, we found that 88% felt the quality of care they received was exceptional!