Regulation of the Care Providers

If you or your loved one knows that long term care is in the near future, there are a great many questions and concerns that can come to mind. Of course there is the normal question of how you will pay for your care, especially if you’ve already been deemed a self-funder. However, you may also find that you have concerns about the quality of care that you are likely to receive and how that care is actually monitored to ensure that the best care possible is being received by those individuals who have to succumb to long term care facilities.

The Care Quality Commission is the regulatory body with which all care providers must be registered. This body is responsible for ensuring that a variety of facilities including hospitals and care homes are meeting national standards. This is the regulatory body that oversees England. There are other bodies that oversee quality assurance for different parts of the UK. For example, in Scotland, it is the Care Inspectorate while in Northern Ireland it is the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority. Lastly, in Wales, it is the Care and Social Service Inspectorate.

For England, The CQC is an Independent regulator for all health and social care services in The Care Quality Commission replaced three former commissions which existed prior to 1st April 2009, these where the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission.

Regardless of the area within the UK, each of these regulatory bodies are responsible for ensuring that the care received by those who have long term needs meets the national minimum standards. These standards apply to anyone who is in a care home but also for those who receive their long term care services in their own home. These national standards really serve only as guidelines. Regardless of these guidelines that are put in place, all providers have a legal responsibility to ensure that long term care recipients are not only receiving the services that they need but that they are being kept safe and are being treated in a fair way, all the while ensuring that residents are comfortable.

The health care services covered under this regulatory body include dentist, care homes, home care service providers and hospitals. It was established to ensure that government quality and standards are met and maintained. Because they have a website available to the public domain you are able to search for suitable homes within your area and find the most up to date reports on the home which can help in the decision making process. This information can be found here

The government standards cover all aspects of care, including:-
• Treating people with dignity and respect
• Making sure food and drink meets people’s needs
• Making sure that that the environment is clean and safe
• Managing and staffing services

All registered care providers are closely monitored to ensure that these government standards are maintained. Where any failings are found, the CQC has the authority to impose a fine, stop any new admissions to a care facility, or even remove the registration of those in breech. Furthermore, these bodies are available to the general public and certainly for those who are in long term care or have family members who are receiving services. It is possible to legally complain or file a complaint against any provider that is not sufficiently meeting their standards or benchmarks. This can be done by following the path on any one of the regulating bodies’ websites.

For Wales, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) is the regulator and can be found In Scotland the Care Commission was replaced as the regulator on 01/04/2011 by the Care Inspectorate, found at, whilst the regulation of independent healthcare passed to Healthcare Improvement Scotland. In Northern Ireland you will find the regulation of care services lies with Regulation and Improvement Authority

In order to ensure that the best services are always being provided to those that need them, it is important to voice concerns should you have them with the applicable regulator. This helps to ensure that standards are always being upheld when it comes to not only serving the elderly and helping them to get the care they need but also ensuring that they are being treated kindly and respectfully. Many elderly have concerns that they will not be able to age with dignity. Providing the best services possible both in long term care facilities and in residential homes is important to ensuring that they are able to age gracefully and respectfully.