For many, seeking professional home care for an elderly relative or loved one can be a daunting prospect.
If you find yourself in this position, concerns regarding the quality of care and standards of practice will no doubt be at the forefront of your mind. Fortunately, all care services in the UK are strictly regulated by the government and independent organisations, with lasting health, safety and well-being of service users given absolute priority.
The Standards Set
Legislation announced by the UK government in April 2015 introduced a set of fundamental standards to be met by all health and social care providers, domestic care included. These standards, now in full effect, stipulate that all service users are to be treated with dignity and respect and protected from any form of abuse.
All care and treatment must be provided in a safe, appropriate and transparent way, in accordance with the consent and preferences of those being cared for. Vitally, all persons deployed to provide home care must be deemed to be of good character, as well as suitably qualified, skilled and experienced.
Nutritional and hydration needs of service users are to be met at all times, and any equipment used is to be kept clean. Finally, the legislation states that complaints must be dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
Independent Regulatory Bodies
There are four independent regulators tasked with ensuring that standards of care are met by all UK providers. In England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is responsible for inspecting services and reporting its findings in full to the government and the public.
Scotland’s Care Inspectorate follows the same processes north of the border, while Wales and Northern Ireland are serviced by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) respectively.
Monitoring, Inspection And Regulation
Before any care provider can operate, it must be registered with the regulator in its region and be deemed suitable for the purpose. Once successfully registered, home care providers are monitored continuously.
In between inspections, regulators collect evidence and data by speaking with service users and their families, carers, staff and other professionals. Comprehensive inspections take place regularly and consist of observing care, reviewing records and more. Reports are published online, with each inspected service given a rating ranging from inadequate to outstanding.
The information offered by these organisations is a great place to start if you’re considering hiring a home care provider...
And knowing how well-regulated home care services in the UK are may bring some all-important peace of mind. If you need more information, do not hesitate to contact us today.