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The Care Home Basics

Getting the basics right is vital for any business, from the smallest care homes to the largest health care providers in the retirement and care home community. Looking after people in their vulnerable aging years is a challenge, but there are some fundamental standards which have to be applied.


The Care Quality Commission (CQC), as the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England has some fundamental standards below which your care must never fall. They are the foundations of care, whether mental, medical or merely in day-to-day living. The full details of the commandments on care can be found at http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/celebrating-good-care-championing-outstanding-care

Everybody living in care or a residential home has the right to expect the following standards, and we look at eleven top tips for how excellent care is delivered, or how is can be improved.



  1. Person-centred care: All care homes, whether nursing or retirement, residential or assisted living must give care or treatment that is tailored to the needs and preferences of individual residents.
  2. Dignity and respect: Care home residents must be treated with dignity and respect at all times while receiving care and treatment. This includes making sure:
  • There is privacy when needed or wanted
  • That everybody is treated as equals
  • That residents are supported in remaining independent, involved in the local community, and stimulated mentally
  1. Consent: Residents (or anybody legally acting on their behalf) must give consent before any care or treatment is given.
  2. Safety: Residents or patients must not be given unsafe care or treatment or be put at risk of harm that could be avoided. Care home staff and providers must assess the risks to health and safety.
  3. Safeguarding from abuse: Residents must not suffer any form of abuse or improper treatment while receiving care. This includes:
  • Neglect
  • Degrading treatment
  • Unnecessary or disproportionate restraint
  • Inappropriate limits on freedom
  1. Food and drink: There must be enough to eat and drink to keep care home and residential residents in good health.
  2. Premises and equipment: The places where residents receive care and treatment and the equipment used in it must be clean, suitable and looked after properly.
  3. Complaints: Residents and their relatives must be able to complain about any problems with care and treatment. There must be a system in place which allows complaints to be handled and responded to. There must also be a system of investigation and a means of taking action if problems are identified.
  4. Good governance: Care providers must have effective governance and systems to check on the quality and safety of care. These must help the service improve and reduce any risks to health, safety and welfare.
  5. Staffing: The care provider or residential home owner and management must have enough suitably qualified, competent and experienced staff. The staff must be given the support, training and supervision they need to help them do their job.
  6. Duty of candour: The care provider must be open and transparent with residents about your care and treatment. Should something go wrong, they must tell you what has happened, provide support and apologise.

So these are the absolute basics, the fundamentals of caring for the rapidly aging population. What do you think? Do these commandments go far enough? We would love to hear from you with your thoughts.