National minimum standards for care homes

In line with the Care Standards Act 2000, national minimum standards were introduced for care homes for adults (18–65) and older people. Both sets of standards were applied from 1 June 2003.

Care homes for adults (18-65) - national minimum standards (originally published in 2002) was re-published on 18 February 2003. It set out 43 standards, which were grouped under the eight themes of:

  • choice of home
  • individual choices and needs
  • lifestyle
  • personal and healthcare support
  • complaints, concerns and protection
  • environment
  • staffing
  • conduct and management of the home.

The minimum standards were to be used by the National Care Standards Commission inspectors when carrying out inspections of care homes.

When Care homes for older people - National minimum standards (NMS) was first published in 2002, it set out 38 minimum standards on:

  • choice of care homes
  • personal and health care services
  • daily and recreational activities and services
  • complaints, protection and redress
  • environment
  • staff management and administration.

These minimum standards were to be used by the National Care Standards Commission inspectors when carrying out inspections of care and private health providers.

After widespread opposition from private care home providers, the 2003 revision of the NMS for older and for younger people relaxed previously proposed standards on the physical environment, minimum room sizes and the availability of single rooms.

Private providers argued that the cost of meeting such standards would force many to close. The higher standards did, however, apply to new homes built after April 2002.

Source(s)

Department of Health.
Care homes for adults (18-65) - National Minimum Standards Care Homes Regulations.
Department of Health; 2003.

Department of Health.
Care homes for older people - National Minimum Standards Care Homes Regulations.
Department of Health; 2003.

BBC News.
Climbdown on care home rules.
BBC News; 2003.