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Care homes

Please see the following list of authoritative resources on care homes. If you are having any difficulties applying this to your role, please call us.


Regulation and national minimum standards

Below are details of the various health care regulators in place in each of the four UK countries. They also provide guidance for registered managers who will need to meet the 'fitness of registered managers' requirements outlined in the regulations for each country.

England: Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and adult social care in England. They regulate all health and adult social care services in England.

Northern Ireland: Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) is the body responsible for monitoring and inspecting the availability and quality of health and social care services in Northern Ireland, and encouraging improvements in the quality of those services. RQIA assesses the quality of the services against the standards laid down by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS).

The RQIA also has a role in assuring the quality of services provided by the Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts and also undertakes a range of responsibilities for people with a mental illness and those with a learning disability.

Scotland: The Care Inspectorate regulates local authorities, individuals, businesses, charities and voluntary organisations and inspects and supports improvement of care, social work and child protection services. The Care Inspectorate uses the National Care Standards when inspecting care.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) builds on work previously done by NHS Quality Improvement Scotland and the Care Commission.

Wales: Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) regulate social care and early years services and agencies using the regulations and national minimum standards made by the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government. New legislation is expected to the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill in 2017.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) is the independent inspectorate and regulator of all healthcare in Wales and the Local Supervising Authority for the statutory supervision of midwives. HIW can undertake special reviews and investigations where there appears to be systematic failures in delivering healthcare services.

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Disposal of medicines in a care home

The Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework includes a section regarding the acceptance and safe disposal of unwanted medicines returned to pharmacies by the public or from care homes not registered to provide nursing care.

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Need more advice?

Call RCN Direct on: 0345 772 6100