What good care looks like

Information to help you choose a care home

If someone is considering moving to a care home they may choose their own care home or they may need help from social services.

This may be funded by social services or be self-funded. This will depend on an individual's personal circumstances.

Although all homes come under the category of ‘care home’, generally a residential home is expected to provide the level of personal care that you would expect from a close relative.

Staff are not required to be qualified nurses. However, a percentage of carers in each home should hold a qualification such as NVQ in Health and Social Care. They should also have regular training and instruction in a variety of health and safety disciplines.

A care home with nursing provides all personal care, with the addition of qualified nurses to carry out specific treatments and procedures. People suffering from a long-term condition or illness may require a nursing home to ensure they receive appropriate care.

Care homes can be owned and run by:

  • local authorities
  • private operators (either national chains or local independents)
  • the voluntary sector.

All care homes should offer attention to residents throughout the day and night. Medical assistance is provided through your GP or 999 for emergency situations.

All homes must register with their local authority and with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC is the national regulator and inspector of care homes and agencies which provide care in the home.

What to look for?

It is important that you consider your individual preferences and there are many important aspects to consider when choosing a care home. It is important to gather inspection reports from CQC, brochures and any other independent information available. You should try to visit a selection before finally deciding.

The following pages will present questions and considerations you should consider when choosing a care provider.

This list is comprehensive and isn’t meant to scare you. They are just suggestions of questions you might want to consider. Perhaps you can pick out just the most relevant questions that are important to you and add them to your own list, to help you with your decision.

Quality monitoring

The council routinely monitors care homes and home care services every year on a rolling programme. However, if we have concerns or if it is a new service or home we would visit more frequently.

The council maintains a quality improvement list which logs providers about which there are quality concerns. The council works with the provider on improvement plans.

If you are interested in using a particular service you can ask the council about it to make sure it is of good quality.