Building better care homes

New guidance on building care homes that meet the needs and respects the rights of people who live in them have been published by the Care Inspectorate.

The guidance is aimed at anyone designing or building a new care service but should also be used by care providers thinking of upgrading existing care services.

The Care Inspectorate plays an important role in supporting the development of high quality care in Scotland. All care services, including care homes, require to be registered with the Care Inspectorate. This process is designed to ensure that applicants are fit to provide care, that people experiencing care are likely to experience high-quality care, and that the premises for providing care are suitable.

Launching the updated guidelines, Karen Reid, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: "When someone lives in a care home, that is their home.

"We expect care homes not just to be safe, but to be enjoyable places to live. People should experience a homely environment, with warm, compassionate care that meets their needs and upholds their rights.

"How a care home is designed can have a profound effect on the experiences of, and outcomes for, people experiencing care and their families. Building a new care home, or refurbishing one, is a major exercise but also an opportunity to use high-quality design and construction to help contribute to a high-quality experience for people. It is much better to design quality in from the start, rather than to try to deliver care in a building that works against that happening.

"At the Care Inspectorate, we play a vital role in acting as a gateway to the care market. Care services must satisfy us they are capable of providing high-quality care. They physical layout of a care home is one of the things we look at when considering an application for registration. This guidance contains many of the questions and issues we raise when considering an application."

Threw guidance has been completely revised in light of the new Health and Social Care Standards, being implemented in Scotland from April 2018. These are radically different from the old standards, and much more person-led and outcome-focused. They apply across health and social care provision rather than to specific settings like care homes, so detailed guidance like this is even more important.

This guidance sets out the Care Inspectorate’s expectations on a number of key elements of care home building design and room size.

Karen Reid added: "We also recognise that the nature of care is changing, with an increasing emphasis on the benefits of homely and small-group living. Providers, planners and architects will need to consider how the information here will inform models of care in smaller settings and in innovative forms of care provision."

The guidance is available here.: