The Care Quality Commission is now the independent regulator of health and adult social care for England. It replaces the Commission for Social Care Inspection, the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection and the Mental Health Commission, which were all abolished in 2009. The care services it oversees may be provided by the NHS, private companies, local authorities or voluntary organisations.
New regulations came into force in April 2010 and the Care Quality Commission have a wide range of enforcement powers. These include temporary suspension, warning letters and fines for non compliance with the new guidelines. The aim of the Care Quality Commission is to increase the quality of health and social care for people in care homes, hospitals or in their own home.
Essential standards of quality and safety have been published and consist of 28 regulations and their associated outcomes - that is – the expected consequence of the care that people receive. The Care Quality Commission monitor care providers’ compliance with these rules, focusing on the 16 that are detailed in Part 4 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010. These relate directly to the quality of safety of care. Providers must produce evidence that they have met the outcomes.
The 12 remaining regulations relate to the routine day-to-day management of a service. The information the Care Quality Commission receives in respect of these helps check that the service is being run responsibly and appropriately and that essential standards are met.
Frettens Solicitors advise many care home owners across Dorset and Hampshire, particularly in respect of the sale or acquisition of care homes and employment law. Matthew Fretten, head of the firm’s Commercial Team, comments “All care homes owners and managers need to be aware of the changes in regulation and ensure that their policies are up to date. Please do contact us if you need some advice.”