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.

22nd November 2017

What Are The Requirements For Activities Provision In A Care Home?

I work in a care home where we have 28 residents, all with varying degrees of dementia alongside other ailments including, stroke, Parkinson's, amputees etc. The majority have poor sight, hearing and speech so I recently took on the role of activities coordinator despite not being qualified.

Is there a law stating what activities I should provide or how many hours a week they should receive this additional care?

Dear L,


Thank you for your question.


The Care Quality Commission's expectation is set out in the Key Line of Enquiry R1.3:


'Where the service is responsible, how are people supported to follow their interests and take part in activities that are socially and culturally relevant and appropriate to them, including in the wider community, and where appropriate, have access to education and work opportunities?'


It is a matter for management and the care staff working together to develop a programme of activities to meet the needs of service users. Some of the activities will be done as a group and some individually.


Activities can range from listening to music to trips out from the home. This will depend, in no small part, on the needs and dependency of the individual service users.


It is essential, when caring for people with dementia, that as much information as possible is collected about the individual service user's history so that the information can be used to understand the things that may bring pleasure to the service user in the future.


My first piece of advice has always been that a memory box should be put together on admission which could contain almost anything that has been important to people in the past. It could contain photos, ornaments, DVDs, pieces of jewellery, anything that the family think is important. It is also a lovely task for a member of the family to undertake at what can often be a traumatic time for a family.


At times of stress or upset for the service users looking at familiar things from the past can often be comforting.


As the activities coordinator, there are some things that you can put together over time that will be enjoyed by most service users. For example, photos of babies are often enjoyed by ladies and photos of vintage cars are often enjoyed by everyone. I think that hand massages or manicures are very enjoyable and comforting.


There is an organisation, National Activity Providers Association (NAPA), which you can join which has any number of great ideas on their website


One other thing that can bring pleasure to service users is a pet.


It is important that you keep a record of all the things that you do.


There are so many good ideas out there to help you. I wish you good luck in your new role.


Best wishes,



*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

What would you like to ask Sheila?

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.

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