Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

29th March 2017

What is the difference between nursing and residential care?

What is the CQC view on nursing v residential care. My understanding is that to be residential care a person needs to be able to bear their own weight and to not have any permanent invasive treatments such as drips etc. I realise that this is a somewhat simplistic view but would welcome your guidance?


Dear P,


Thank you for your question.


When I first began working in adult social care we would say that residential care is the care that would be given by a loving resident if that were possible.


That is really no longer the case because people entering care homes now so often have complex needs.


A nursing home is staffed at all times by Registered Nurses supported by care assistants. People in nursing home need nursing intervention.


Staff are trained in residential care homes too but not in nursing care.


All care homes have to be registered by the Care Quality Commission and they register homes either as a care home or a care home with nursing.


I found this explanation on the internet which may be helpful.


"Staffed by trained care staff, residential care homes provide a safe place to stay for people who need substantial assistance with personal care tasks day and night."


Nursing care homes are suitable for people in need of more intensive care provided by qualified nursing staff."


I hope this is helpful.


Best wishes.



*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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