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Making sure health and social care is up to scratch


20 June 2013

Mike Reed of Care Quality Commission looks at what standards you can expect across all NHS and private health services

Whenever and wherever you receive care, it should meet government standards of quality and safety.

As regulator, it’s the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) job to check that those standards are being met across all NHS and private health services, across all care homes and home care services, and across all GP and dental practices in England.

What you should expect when a service is meeting government standards:

  • to be involved and told what’s happening at every stage of your care and staff should always respect your privacy and dignity
  • care, support and treatment that meets your needs, and this includes help with eating and drinking if you need it
  • to be protected from the risk of abuse or neglect, given medicines safely and be looked after in a clean and hygienic environment
  • there must be enough staff with the right skills to meet your health and welfare needs
  • to know how to make a complaint, and if you do, that it is fully investigated by the service

If you have experienced poor care, or know that poor care is being provided somewhere, you can report it anonymously to CQC.

CQC does not investigate individual complaints, but the information you provide plays a vital role in helping it decide when, where and what to inspect.

It promptly reviews all feedback and each piece of information it receives is like another piece in the jigsaw, helping it to build a picture of what is happening in each hospital, care home or home care agency between routine inspections; and whenever it find that standards are not being met, it always takes action to make sure care improves.

CQC publishes reports of its inspections and you can use these to help you make an informed choice about your care; and you can now sign up to receive an email alert when any hospital, care home, home-care agency, GP or dental practice is inspected.

Report poor care to CQC or download its inspection reports.