Ask Sheila England

Sheila will try to answer as many of your English Social Care questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends.

Sheila Scott OBE from 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.

Sheila will try to answer as many of your questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends.

Please note that Sheila can not offer answers to matters requiring legal advice. If your matter concerns a specific service provider, please contact the CQC.

Latest Questions

Forms/consent for supporting services users to appointments

Do you need to have a filled in form ( not discharge ) when I support a service user to the doctor or hospital to be CQC compliant ? – Maria

Dear Maria, Yes, you should undertake a risk assessment before escorting someone to appointments. This can be part of the care plan or if it only happens very occasionally then it would...

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Refusal of meal options

I am the cook in a residential care home elderly vulnerable adults . The main meals each day have one alternative, I am told by the home owner that if the service user declines both choices I cannot offer another choice and they go without, and the service user must provide his own food, i.e. go to the shops. I do not feel comfortable with the outcome. Can you help?

This is a very important question and a worrying situation. The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014: Regulation 14: Meeting nutritional and hydration needs is a legal...

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Fit Person’s Interview

I have my Fit Person’s interview for Registered Manager coming up soon, what advice can you give me to help prepare my self ?

Dear Sharon, I am presuming that you are an experienced worker in a senior position in a care home or domiciliary care service. You will also have an appropriate qualification or...

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Displaying ratings

Dear Sheila,

I read somewhere that CQC is going to require care providers to display their quality rating.

Is this true?


Dear Arthur Section 11 of the Care Act 2008 requires all registered care providers to display their quality rating when they are awarded one. This requirement will come into effect on...

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Opening a new home

For 11 years I successfully operated a highly regarded 31 bed nursing home but closed down in 2003 as only agency nurses were available at rates which could not be sustained. I am considering reopening as a non nursing home and would be grateful to know where I could obtain information regarding the regulations applicable and the financial contribution from local authority etc. – William

Dear William, All the information that you require about opening a care home plus the appropriate forms that need to be completed are available on the Care Quality Commission's website: You...

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Care Plans for Domiciliary Care

Hi Sheila
Can please tell me if it we should update care plans every month in domiciliary care service users, in most cases not much changes. Also is it good practice to carry out monthly reviews with service users and advocates. Thanks – Jemma

Dear Jemma, Yes, you should review the care plans at least once a month. This is the best practice, even though there may be no change the review of the care should...

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Standby without pay

Can a company make you be on standby without pay when you have a 36 hour contract and you have done your 36 hours that week as you cannot make plans with your days off?

Dear Christine, We are lucky here at QCS that we have professionals we are able to refer to when a question requires an answer from an expert in another field so...

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Extra Care Housing Program

I would like to find more information on the Extra Care Housing Program in England and Wales. Can you help me with this? Also do you believe this program would work in the United States? Separate homes sound more attractive than living in an Assisted Living Facility.

Dear Lisa, The Elderly Accommodation Council's ( definition of Extra Care Housing is: "Extra Care Housing is housing designed with the needs of frailer older people in mind and with varying levels...

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Reviewing care plans

We are tired of reprinting the same care plans for residents whose needs have not changed month in and month out.Also we do not feel comforted to just mention ‘NO CHANGES’ in the monthly review if no changes have been noted in the case of some residents.

What is your advice as to ‘How to review and what to mention in successive care plans and reviews of residents whose needs have not changed.’?

Dear Pravin, You are required to review and sign that you have reviewed every care plan at least once per month. It is essential that you do this. I don't know if you...

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Supported living units

Hi Sheila

I am interested in registering a supported living unit in Huntingdon in the Cambridgeshire region , l have been in contact with CQC and they have informed me that they do not register supported living units.

My question were do l go for registration any advice will greatly appreciated at this point.


Supported living units are not subject to specialist registration. They are viewed as housing and are therefore subject to planning law and building control regulation. Any personal care that is provided...

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