Working in a care home in the UK comes with an array of regulations and legal obligations that must be followed to ensure high-quality care. With rules and guidance constantly updated, it’s essential for anyone pursuing a career in care to have a firm grasp of the current standards. This will ensure they stay up to date with standards and regulations.
At the most basic level, all care homes must be registered with and inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC issues ratings for each care home and can impose penalties or actions if standards slip. Homes must prove they are Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive to residents, and Well-Led. The CQC’s comprehensive inspections examine areas like staff training, infection control, medicine management, and dignity and respect. Ongoing improvement is expected to maintain favourable ratings.
The regulator Social Care Wales also issues a Code of Practice that care staff must comply with. Covering responsibilities around dignity, choice, safety and more. Mandatory training on the Code is required within the first 6 months of employment. Care homes in England and Northern Ireland have similar sets of standards.
Care staff should stay up to date with care home regulations and standards on relevant National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for providing safe, ethical care services. NICE regularly publishes quality statements, baseline expectations and recommendations for best practice. For example, NICE has guidelines on topics like medicines management, mental wellbeing, nutrition, consent and more.
Dementia training and awareness are also compulsory for care workers. The Level 2 Diploma in Care mandates dementia training as it is considered a crucial skill when supporting older adults. Ongoing professional development around person-centred dementia care is essential.
Care homes must adhere to regulations around the control of substances hazardous to health, known as COSHH. Staff must be trained in safe handling, storage, use and disposal of potentially harmful substances. Kitchen and cleaning products require COSHH training.
Similarly, health and safety responsibilities fall under HASAWA regulations. Care workers must be diligent in identifying and minimising any safety hazards or risks to themselves or residents. This can be delivered through training, monitoring and reporting. This includes safe moving and handling procedures, infection control, fire safety, and food safety.
Care homes are expected to promote residents’ rights and choices. Key regulations like the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards outline processes. These must be followed if a resident lacks mental capacity. Care plans must take into account individual needs, risks must be assessed, and restrictions justified. A few things to consider when looking for a new role will ensure you are up to date with care home regulations and standards.
When it comes to resident finances, care homes must adhere to strict financial regulations. Care home regulations and standards are changing all the time. Handling residents’ money requires transparency and diligent recording. Staff need to ensure charges are explained clearly and additional services require consent.
Care staff should be prepared to undergo disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks examining any criminal history. Enhanced DBS checks help assure employers, that staff are safe and trustworthy around vulnerable residents.
This recap of major care regulations and standards should give those pursuing or starting a care position a firm grounding. However, regular review of updated guidance, news and reports from regulators is the best way to stay compliant. This will also ensure a high standard of compassionate, dignified care. Employers will be impressed by an eagerness to implement the latest best practices. Chat with our team to find new roles in healthcare and progress your career.