The CQC quality framework requires inspectors to focus on 5 main areas of concern when inspecting an adult social care service:

  • Is it safe?
  • Is it effective?
  • Is it caring?
  • Is it responsive?
  • Is it well led?

Introduced in February 2019 the new ‘relationship and sexuality in adult social care services’ guidance seeks to develop this framework by including issues such as relationships, diversity and protecting people from harm.

Sexual expression and personal wellbeing is a sensitive and complex area of need and can cover a range of complex issues such as supporting those service users with physical disabilities, helping service users to form and maintain a relationship or simply offering an environment that is welcoming to all service users including the LGBT community and other marginalised and minority sexuality or gender identities.

Service users are now supported in this area and providers are encouraged not only to meet the individual service users’ needs but to also help them to understand risks. This need for diversity in the new guidance was highlighted by Debbie Westhead, Acting Chief Inspector of Adult Care who summarised that;

"The best care is person-centred and in supporting relationships and sexuality there can be no one approach that fits all. Supporting people to build and maintain relationships in the way they want to is incredibly important, regardless of who they are or what stage of life they are at."

The new guidance is and aimed at both CQC inspection staff and registered adult social care providers and has been received well with many providers and public representative bodies supporting its development. Claire Bates of the Supported Loving campaign and Sue Sharples of U- Night Group said;

"This is a long-awaited document that will give providers clarity and direction in relation to a sensitive and complex area of need. It affirms the link between supporting opportunities for sexual expression and personal wellbeing, within a framework of care services' regulatory responsibilities.”

Markel Law has an experienced team of solicitors who can assist with both Criminal and Regulatory action by the CQC.

Follow this link to find out more about Markel Law and how we can assist your business on care and regulatory related matters.