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CQC sets out updated registration guidance for providers that support people with learning disability services

20 December 2016

As part of the consultation for our next phase of regulation, we are seeking views on draft updated guidance for providers registering to care for people with learning disabilities.

Following on from our Registering the Right Support document published in February 2016, the revised draft guidance clarifies the expectation on providers to ensure their care homes or supported living services are focussed on person-centred care and developed in-line with national policy.

The updated draft guidance aims to:

  • Clarify the position that providers registering services for people with learning disabilities must comply with the national plan, Building the Right Support, developed jointly by NHS England (NHSE), the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Director of Adult Social Services (ADASS) – as well as other key national policy and good practice guidance.
  • Ensure that providers who apply to register services for people with learning disabilities in new premises recognise where applications are likely to be refused and which regulations they would have to meet.
  • Adopt an understanding that ‘small-scale housing’ normally means housing for six or fewer people, as outlined in published guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care and Lead for Registration, said: “The scandal of Winterbourne View highlighted the devastating impact inappropriate care settings can have on people with a learning disability. The Care Quality Commission has a crucial responsibility to ensure that services registering to care for and support people with a learning disability are focused on delivering person-centred care in an environment that meets their individual needs and promotes their independence as far as possible.

“We know what good looks like – NICE guidance and Building the Right Support make that clear. Registering the Right Support builds on this guidance and clarifies our expectations of providers seeking to register or vary their services. We are determined to ensure that these services can deliver the quality of care that people with learning disabilities, their families and carers have every right to expect.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in the updated guidance to have their say by Tuesday 14 February 2017 before a final version is published in March.”

Alicia Wood, Chief Executive of Learning Disability England said: “We welcome proposals that give greater power to avoid registering services that do not fit with what people with learning disabilities and their families want and need. CQC has previously been restricted in being able to incentivise the ‘right’ services and this has meant that regulation of learning disability services that have been based on out of date models of housing and care has been a challenge. Making it clear that services need to be built around what people with learning disabilities want is the right way forward.”

Ray James, Immediate Past President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said: “ADASS supports the revision of this guidance. It will help to ensure that registered care services for people with learning disabilities are in line with the Transforming Care national service model, and help people to live fulfilling and independent lives in their communities, experiencing less inequality and improved outcomes as a result.”

Last updated:
29 May 2017