Ask the Care Specialists

Welcome to our 'Ask the Care Specialists', your one-stop portal for social care-related questions. Our team of specialists will try to answer as many of your Social Care questions as possible.

If a woman does not want male carers, is this covered by the Act?

If a woman does not want male carers, is this covered by the Act?

I would have to say in my view CQC Regulation 10: Dignity and Respect sums up the answer to your question the most.

In this is the reference to the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014: Regulation 10

  • 10(1) Service users must be treated with dignity and respect

This states providers must have regard to the following guidance:

  • When providing intimate or personal care, provider must make every reasonable effort to make sure that they respect people's preferences about who delivers their care and treatment, such as requesting staff of a specified gender

When you look at the CQC Key Lines of Enquiry two prompts jump out.

Caring 2

How does the service support people to express their views and be actively involved in making decisions about their care, support and treatment as far as possible.

Responsive 1

How do people receive personalised care that is responsive to their needs.

The above key questions are aligned to meet the requirements set out in The Health and Social Care Act 2008 and as stated above Dignity and Respect within Regulation 10.

Alongside The Care Act 2014, Equality Act 2010, The Human Rights Act 2005. They also link into The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Best Interest Decisions process and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults.

The conditions and requirements in these acts set very clearly what is required and are the guiding principles to ensure individuals are offered services that are appropriate to age, social and cultural beliefs and that individuals are given the right to choose.

Providers must have policies and procedures in place that clearly demonstrate how they aim to ensure that service users are receiving gender appropriate care and support. Those who are familiar with QCS will already know that the “Choice of Carer Gender Policy and Procedure” is in place for this very purpose.

As part of any providers pre-assessment process this should be covered in order to document preferences and wishes, and this should be used where possible to form an appropriate plan of care and support.

It may include completing risk assessments or if they lack capacity holding a best interest meeting with family, appointees or legal guardians or even close friends who know them well to find out what the person would prefer in terms of support.

This plan may need to include chaperones and contingencies in case of staff absences and shortages where same sex support is unavailable and what happens in those circumstances.

So the answer to your question is yes, The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014: Regulation 10.

These regulations form the basis of any organisation policies and procedures which in turn guide best practice within care providers staff teams.

Ask the provider to see their policy on Choice of Carer and if you make sure that the individual in question has had views covered fully within the support planning process.

Barry Price

Specialist in Adults with Learning Disabilities and Complex Needs

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Please note that our specialists cannot offer answers to matters requiring legal advice. Please do have a look at our website at other answers provided by our experts and in our Expert Insights section There is a wealth of information here freely accessible that could help you.

Important note: We are not in any way affiliated or connected to the Care Quality Commission, Care Inspectorate Scotland, or Care Inspectorate Wales. If your query relates to someone who is at risk of harm or in danger, you must follow your local safeguarding procedures. It is important that you speak to your regulator who will provide you with the best guidance and support.

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