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What are the CQC’s Fundamental Standards?

Published On:

25 March 2022

Published In:

The Fundamental Standards are the standards below which a providers’ care must never fall. They were established by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to protect the rights of patients, and adhering to these ensures quality, person-centred care is delivered.

If your service falls below any of the Fundamental Standards, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will take enforcement action against you, which could result in closure. As a provider, you must ensure your service is meeting these standards to a high-quality to remain CQC Compliant!

They state that everybody has a right to the following:

1) Person-centred care

You must have care or treatment that is tailored to you and meets your needs and preferences.

2) Dignity and respect

You must be treated with dignity and respect at all times while you’re receiving care and treatment.

This includes making sure:

  • You have privacy when you need and want it.
  • Everybody is treated as equals.
  • You’re given any support you need to help you remain independent and involved in your local community.

3) Consent

You (or anybody legally acting on your behalf) must give your consent before any care or treatment is given to you.

4) Safety

You must not be given unsafe care or treatment or be put at risk of harm that could be avoided. Providers must assess the risks to your health and safety during any care or treatment and make sure their staff have the qualifications, competence, skills and experience to keep you safe.

5) Safeguarding from abuse 

You must not suffer any form of abuse or improper treatment while receiving care.

This includes:

  • Neglect
  • Degrading treatment
  • Unnecessary or disproportionate restraint
  • Inappropriate limits on your freedom.

6) Food and drink

You must have enough to eat and drink to keep you in good health while you receive care and treatment.

7) Premises and equipment

The places where you receive care and treatment and the equipment used in it must be clean, suitable and looked after properly.

The equipment used in your care and treatment must also be secure and used properly.

8) Complaints

You must be able to complain about your care and treatment.

The provider of your care must have a system in place so they can handle and respond to your complaint. They must investigate it thoroughly and take action if problems are identified.

9) Good governance

The provider of your care must have plans that ensure they can meet these standards.

They must have effective governance and systems to check on the quality and safety of care. These must help the service improve and reduce any risks to your health, safety and welfare.

10) Staffing

The provider of your care must have enough suitably qualified, competent and experienced staff to make sure they can meet these standards.

Their staff must be given the support, training and supervision they need to help them do their job.

11) Fit and proper staff

The provider of your care must only employ people who can provide care and treatment appropriate to their role. They must have strong recruitment procedures in place and carry out relevant checks such as on applicants’ criminal records and work history.

12) Duty of Candour

The provider of your care must be open and transparent with you about your care and treatment.

Should something go wrong, they must tell you what has happened, provide support and apologise.

13) Displaying of ratings

The provider of your care must display their CQC rating in a place where you can see it. They must also include this information on their website and make our latest report on their service available to you.

The CQC’s website outlines these fundamental standards, which is also the best resource to ensure you are compliant with any updates to these.

Meeting the CQC’s Fundamental standards is crucial to providing a service that is Compliant and Safe for your patients. As a provider, you must meet these standards and also be able to evidence this to the Care Quality Commission.

How can Care 4 Quality. ensure I meet these standards?

At Care 4 Quality., we have a large, dedicated team of experts who will support you to meet and exceed the Fundamental Standards (in addition to any other Registration and Compliancy needs). We are comprised of former CQC Inspectors, CQC Registration Managers, Clinical Nurse Leads, Clinical Policy Writers, an NHS Governance Director, and an experienced GP. Our pool of expertise means we are a trusted source of guidance for Health and Social Care Providers across all sectors.

Whatever the nature of your service, we have the expertise to ensure you are compliant in line with the CQC’s Fundamental Standards. Meeting these standards can look different for every provider. For instance, if you deliver online services, you will not be required to meet the standards of food and drink, but will be required to proactively meet other standards to a high quality. This is why we bespoke our support, ensuring the best experts within our team are working on each caseload and providing advice fully tailored to your organisation.

The Fundamental standards are stated on the Care Quality Commission’s website, where you will also see any updates to these. 

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