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Care Guides > Care Home Policies and Procedures

Care Home Policies and Procedures

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

All organisations need policies and procedures in place to ensure that the correct processes are adhered to and health and safety measures are followed. Without them, things can quickly fall apart and even lead to dangerous situations. Care homes are just one example of an organisation that needs policies and procedures to function, especially as they sit within an industry that concerns people’s health and wellbeing.

So, what are the policies and procedures in a care home? Read on to find out.

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What Are The Types of Policies and Procedures in a Care Home

There are a number of policies and procedures in place across care homes in the UK, ensuring that each resident receives a high quality and level of care and support. To give you an idea of the different types of care home policies, we’ve compiled a useful list of some of the main ones:

Health & safety

As you may be able to imagine, there are numerous health and safety procedures in care homes to keep residents and staff safe. In the event of an accident, there should be policies in place for accident investigation and accident reporting, detailing who was involved, the date and time the accident occurred and how it was dealt with. Medicines, tools and equipment should all be properly stored and food should be correctly labelled for allergens.

Here are the most important health and safety policies and procedures in a care home:

  • Safely using equipment
  • Controlling infection
  • The proper handling of any hazardous substances
  • Ensuring residents are safe when using bed rails
  • Moving residents with care and compassion
  • Taking measures to prevent slips, trips and falls
  • Dealing with any aggressive behaviour

Safeguarding & Resident safety

Top priority in a care home is keeping the residents safe and polices like the Safeguarding policy help to do just this. Safeguarding policies were created to protect residents’ health, wellbeing and human rights to ensure that all residents at the home are happy, healthy and do not suffer any abuse. Staff will receive mandatory Safeguarding training as part of their onboarding. 

Staff procedures

Staff in a care home go through special staff training for their role, which includes things like medication management, how to care for those who may have certain health conditions and administerial procedures including logging reports and records during the day. When it comes to reporting incidents or accidents in the home, staff must be able to confidently complete documentation like risk assessment forms and accident reports. Staff could also be required to have mentoring and coaching training to help more junior members of staff.

Care home managers have the responsibility of ensuring that care home policies and procedures are followed to provide the best possible care and creating a healthy and happy care home culture, free from harm, abuse and neglect.

Fire safety

Any building needs to have fire safety procedures to ensure that in the event a fire, the building is evacuated quickly and efficiently, with clear signage indicating where to go and what to do in the event of a fire. Emergency response protocols are vital, especially when dealing with elderly people who may not be as mobile, or who have conditions like dementia which can cause confusion and distress in stressful situations.

Building safety

Any building is subject to procedures such as audits, inspections, surveys and reports, and care homes are no exception. Care homes should be regularly assessed on their safety and any potential issues flagged, such as unstable structures, broken equipment or damaged furnishings, and repairs should be arranged. Working CCTV systems need to be installed inside and outside the building. 

Why are Policies and Procedures Important?

Regardless of their size, all businesses require policies and procedures in place to make sure they’re safely operating and are in compliance with the law. This is especially true in care homes, where the wellbeing of residents is crucial to everything that takes place.

Policies and procedures provide staff with clear guidelines about how a home should operate, so everyone understands what’s expected.

They also help to make sure that services provided are of a consistent and excellent quality. Again, this is really important in a care setting like a care home.

Who Manages Care Home Policies and Procedures?

Most care homes operate using a number of different policies and procedures, each of which needs to be carefully implemented, managed and overseen.

Often, the human resources department develops a care home’s policies and procedures. These are then managed by a different person or department on a day-to-day basis.

Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014 provides clear guidelines local authorities and care homes must follow to promote independence in care and wellbeing. The act clearly sets out a framework care operators must follow to protect the wellbeing of residents when it comes to key policies including safeguarding, medication, social care staff training, regulations and building safety.

When reviewing and updating care home policies, care operator management teams must refer to the Care Act and relevant care legislation set out by the Government and the Care Quality Commision to safeguard the wellbeing of older adults, residents and members of staff.

The Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission, or CQC, is England’s health and social care services regulator.

The CQC registers, monitors and inspects care homes and gives them one of four ratings:

  1. Outstanding
  2. Good
  3. Requires Improvement
  4. Inadequate

These ratings are based on:

  1. Safety
  2. Effectiveness
  3. Responsiveness
  4. How caring the home is
  5. Whether the home is well-led

CQC ratings give care seekers a trustworthy indication of a care home’s quality and safety and how well they are able to deliver care tasks.

When a care home creates its policies and procedures, it must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). In Scotland and Wales, inspections are carried out by the Care Inspectorate and Care Inspectorate Wales, and in Northern Ireland, by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, or the RQIA.

Care Homes and COVID-19

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, lots of UK care providers have added on additional protocols to protect residents, staff and visitors, including increased cleaning and rigorous disinfecting in the home, test and trace systems, free PPE equipment for care home staff and limited visiting hours.

Care operators and social care workers are continuing to follow industry guidelines and regulations as they’re updated to ensure the health and wellbeing of residents across their homes is protected. Many of the homes we partner with continue to use PPE equipment, regularly test staff and visitors and stay on top of cleaning communal spaces and other areas.

Lottie matches care seekers with the best care homes for their needs. You can request a free care home shortlist from our care experts, who will share homes matching your budget, location and type of care needed. You can also search for a care home through our easy-to-use directory.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are care home policies and procedures?

Policies in a care home provide care operators and care home staff with frameworks and guidelines to follow when providing care and support for residents. Policies in a care home follow Government and CQC guidelines to safeguard the wellbeing of residents.

What are the main types of policies a care home follows?

Some of the key policies care homes in the UK follow are, health and safety, safeguarding, staff procedures, fire safety and building safety.

Why are procedures important in a care home?

Care home policies and procedures set out guidelines care operators must follow to protect the wellbeing of residents. Following industry guidelines ensure residents receive high quality care and support tailored to their personal needs.

What policies do social care staff follow?

Staff in a care home go through special staff training for their role, including medication management, how to care for those who may have certain health conditions and administerial procedures, including logging reports and records during the day. Care home managers have the responsibility of ensuring care home policies and procedures are followed with care industry best practices in mind.

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