03 February 2014
The Government has launched a consultation to improve regulation of health and social care providers.
The consultation asks for views on new draft regulations that will introduce fundamental standards as legal requirements, which all providers of health and social care must meet to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The consultation is currently open and will end 5pm on 5 April 2014.
The introduction of fundamental standards was recommended by the Francis Inquiry report. The CQC carried out a consultation on the principles of the standards last year and the responses have helped in developing the regulations that are now being consulted on.
According to the Government, the fundamental standards outline standards of safety and quality that should always be met and will be used as part of the CQC’s inspections and regulation of care providers. This will enable the CQC to hold providers to account if they are not being met, including through the courts where appropriate.
The Government believes that anyone who is cared for by an NHS hospital, foundation trust, mental health service, independent hospital, care home, nursing home, GP practice, dentist, ambulance, or community services will benefit from the protection the fundamental standards will bring.
The fundamental standards that are being consulted on include rules such as that care and treatment must reflect service users’ needs and preferences; service users must be treated with dignity and respect; care and treatment must only be provided with consent; all care and treatment provided must be appropriate and safe; service users must not be subject to abuse; service users’ nutritional needs must be met; all premises and equipment used must be safe, clean, secure, suitable for the purpose for which they are being used, and properly used and maintained; complaints must be appropriately investigated and appropriate action taken in response; systems and processes must be established to ensure compliance with the fundamental standards; sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff must be deployed; and persons employed must be of good character, have the necessary qualifications, skills and experience, and be capable of performing the work for which they are employed.