The consultation asks for views on new draft regulations that will introduce fundamental standards as legal requirements that all providers of health and social care must meet to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The fundamental standards will make it clear that there are some standards of safety and quality that should always be met. They will be used as part of the CQC’s inspections and regulation of care providers – the CQC will be able to hold providers to account if they are not being met, including through the courts where appropriate.
The fundamental standards are:
- 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
- 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
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 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.
The consultation will help ensure that the regulations are easy to understand and effective.