What are the policies and procedures in a care home?

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Policies outline rules that care home employees must abide by and procedures offer step-by-step instructions for doing something.

Effective policies and procedures provide employees with clear guidelines for carrying out their roles and help organisations to run safely and efficiently.

Why are policies and procedures important?

All businesses, no matter their size, require at least some basic policies and procedures to ensure that they are operating safely and in accordance with the law.

Having policies and procedures in place is particularly important in the health and social care sector where people’s lives and wellbeing are in your organisation’s hands.

Policies and procedures provide staff with clear guidelines about how the business operates so that everyone is reading off the same page and understands what is expected of them.

They can also ensure that the services being provided are consistently of a high quality, the organisation is complying with relevant regulations, and employees are being treated equally and fairly.

Clear policies and procedures make an organisation appear more competent, professional, and trustworthy to customers, clients, and employees.

Key care home policies and procedures

Care homes require many of the same policies and procedures as businesses in other industries, as well as some more specialised core policies.

Some of the key departments within any organisation that require clear policies and procedures to run smoothly and according to the law include health and safety, human resources, and administration.

Within care homes it is also very important that there are policies in place to look after the health and wellbeing of all residents and employees.

Some of the key policies and procedures that care homes are legally required to have include:


Care homes are obligated to ensure that both their organisation’s residents and employees are safe. A safeguarding policy aims to look after and protect vulnerable people from abuse, harm, or exploitation. A safeguarding policy is particularly important in a care home setting where many of the residents may be elderly and frail or suffering with physical disabilities or dementia.

An organisation’s safeguarding policy and procedures are usually overseen by a safeguarding lead. A safeguarding lead is a person who has received training in safeguarding and who is responsible for ensuring the safeguarding policy is up-to-date and managing it on a daily basis.


Confidentiality policies are very important in the health and social care sector, including in care homes. This policy gives care home residents confidence that anything they discuss with your organisation’s employees will remain private. This policy protects residents by preventing the care home or any of its employees sharing any of their personal details, data, health records, or the details of any conversations they have had with staff.

Health and safety

Whilst health and safety policies and procedures are important in all industries, they are even more crucial within care homes because the residents may be elderly, frail, or suffering with chronic or ongoing health conditions. Some key care home health and safety policies and procedures include:

  • Equipment safety.
  • Infection control.
  • Handling hazardous substances.
  • The safe use of bed rails.
  • Moving and handling patients.
  • Preventing and managing slips, trips, and falls.
  • Workplace violence and aggression.


Every business can benefit from robust complaints policies and procedures. Handling complaints properly within a care home is especially important as complaints can provide an insight into the quality of service being provided and the areas where there is room for improvement. Having a formal complaints procedure in place can give customers reassurance that their complaint is being taken seriously and handled fairly and professionally.


Whistleblowing policies and procedures are important in the care home industry to ensure that employees feel safe reporting any issues, negligence, malpractice, or wrongdoing within an organisation. Whistleblowing policies can help to safeguard and look out for the best interests of care home residents and employees alike by providing staff with a safe and confidential way to raise any concerns they have.

Other policies and procedures important to care homes include those regarding lone working, data protection, accident reporting, and fire safety to name just a few.

How are care homes regulated?

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspects, regulates, and monitors all care homes to ensure that a high standard of care is being met and all relevant policies and procedures are being adhered to.

All care homes are regularly inspected and rated by the CQC. These ratings are available online to anyone that wishes to see them.

When inspecting the services being offered by care homes, the CQC asks five key questions about the service and then provides a rating in answer to each one. The five key questions are:

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?

It is essential that care home policies and procedures are compliant with all CQC requirements.

Who manages care home policies and procedures?

Most care homes operate using a huge number of different policies and procedures, each of which will need to be carefully implemented, managed, overseen, and reviewed by someone with expertise in the relevant area.

The human resources department usually plays a large part in developing an organisation’s policies and procedures, which may then be managed day-to-day by a different person or department depending on the area of the business each policy or procedure relates to.

In some cases, it may be a department manager who is tasked with managing and overseeing compliance with a policy or procedure. In other cases, a policy or procedure may need to be managed by a person who has received specialist training.

Here at CBAT, we offer a variety of specialist health and social care training courses including infection control courses and safeguarding courses that can help with managing important care home policies and procedures.

Browse our courses online, or for more information, give our team a call on 01772 816 922.