Final guidance on visiting and accompanying in care homes, hospitals and hospices

Published: 4 April 2024 Page last updated: 4 April 2024

Following consultation earlier this year, we have now published final guidance to help providers understand and meet the new fundamental standard on visiting and accompanying in care homes, hospitals, and hospices.

The guidance also sets out what people using health and social care services and their families, friends or advocates can expect.

The consultation was limited to our guidance about the new fundamental standard. It did not cover the scope and content of the visiting legislation itself, which was subject to the government’s own consultation last year.

We received 553 responses to our consultation. We are grateful to everyone who gave their feedback.

People often expressed support for the principles contained in the guidance and fundamental standard and related this to their own experiences.

We also received a high level of agreement that the guidance provided clarity.

Across the 5 questions we asked to gauge agreement or disagreement that our guidance clarifies what is required of the relevant health and social care providers, an average of:

  • 79% said they agreed or strongly agreed

  • 8% said they disagreed or strongly disagreed.

We have used the feedback we received to improve our guidance. For example, we have added further clarity to help providers understand what they must do to make sure they respect the right of each person to receive visits and to be accompanied.

We have published our guidance ahead of the timescale the government has set out for the regulation to come into force on 6 April 2024.