Care England criticise CQC over 6 bed limit for learning disability settings

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Care England have criticised the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) latest guidance to limit registration of learning disability services to housing for six or fewer people.

Care England is warning that services should be registered on the prospective outcomes that they will achieve for people not simply on their size. Other factors need to be taken into account to assess whether those outcomes will be of the quality necessary to support registration.

The CQC has defined ‘small-scale housing’ as housing for six or fewer people using services, therefore adopting the NICE Guidance, Autism spectrum disorder in adults: diagnosis and management (2012). Their revised “Registering the right support” guidance has now been updated in Annex B.

Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, says:

“Care England supports CQC’s drive to improve the way that care is given post Winterbourne. We are concerned that the real life application of the current guidance that states that CQC will only register units of 6 beds or fewer will not offer genuine choice.  The ‘six bed rule’ seems to be the primary, and in some cases, the only factor in deciding if registration will be granted.  This is contrary to the need to look at a range of factors to determine what is suitable for people living in the community and will work counter to the establishment of suitable settings in the community and thus make hospital care more, not less likely, because such services will not, as a result of the policy, be set up at all”.

Professor Martin Green continues:

“Why does CQC feel that it should determine the size of Learning Disability Services but not exercise the same power over older people’s services, mental health services and other?  There is an obvious and strong illogicality in the position of CQC with respect to these different services. Clearly size is not the only consideration when considering new, or indeed re-registering, care home registrations?”

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