1. Introduction

Premises and equipment are defined in the regulations (see link above). The term ‘premises’ does not apply to the person’s own accommodation where accommodation is not provided as part of their care and treatment. In addition, ‘equipment’ does not include equipment at the person’s own accommodation, where it is not provided as part of their care or treatment.

Adults should:

  • not be at risk of harm from unsafe or unsuitable premises, equipment, furnishings or fittings;
  • benefit from equipment that is comfortable and appropriate for their needs.

The service should ensure that domiciliary care premises where care and treatment are delivered are clean, suitable for the intended purpose, maintained and that any equipment that is used to deliver care and treatment is clean, suitable for the intended purpose, maintained, stored securely and used properly. This includes staff supporting adults to clean and maintain their properties, as appropriate.

The service is accountable for premises and equipment when it delegates responsibility through contracts to a third party, independent suppliers, professionals, supply chains or contractors. Responsibility for any shortfall rests with the service.

Where the person using the service owns the equipment needed to deliver their care and treatment, or the provider does not provide it, the provider should make every effort to make sure that it is clean, safe and suitable for use.

Any cleaning and / or laundering of clothes, bed linen and towels for example, carried out by staff in the adult’s accommodation will only be done if agreed between the adult / their carer and the service. This should also be specified in the adult’s care plan, including frequency.

Staff should report any problems with premises and equipment to the adult and / or their carer / representative, for them to take necessary action. Issues of hoarding or self-neglect related to premises or equipment may require discussion with partner agencies, in conjunction with the adult and their carer / representative (see Self-Neglect, including Hoarding).

2. Clean

Premises and equipment must be kept clean and cleaning must be carried out in line with current legislation and guidance.

Premises and equipment should be visibly clean and free from odours that are offensive or unpleasant.

Domestic, clinical and hazardous waste and materials must be managed in line with current legislation and guidance.

3. Secure

Security arrangements must make sure that people are safe while receiving care, including:

  • protecting personal safety, which includes restrictive protection required in relation to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Mental Health Act 1983. This includes the use of window restrictors for example, which are used in a way that protects people using the service when lawful and necessary;
  • protecting personal property and / or money;
  • not inadvertently restricting people’s movements.

If any form of surveillance is used for any purpose, staff must make sure that this is done in the best interests of service users or with their consent if they have mental capacity (see Mental Capacity), while remaining mindful of their responsibilities for the safety of staff. Any surveillance should be operated in line with Using surveillance: Information for providers of health and social care on using surveillance to monitor services, CQC.

4. Fit for purpose

Premises must be fit for purpose, in line with statutory requirements and should take account of national best practice.

Supported living premises must be suitable for the service provided, including the layout, and be big enough to accommodate the potential number of people using the service at any one time. There must be sufficient equipment to provide the service.

Adequate support facilities and amenities must be provided where relevant to the service being provided. This includes sufficient toilets and bathrooms for the number of people using the service and adequate storage space.

People’s needs must be taken into account when premises are designed, built, maintained, renovated or adapted. Their views should also be taken into account when possible.

People should be able to easily enter and exit premises and find their way around easily and independently. If they cannot, providers must make reasonable adjustments in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 and other current legislation and guidance.

Any alterations to the premises or the equipment must be made in line with current legislation and guidance. Where the guidance cannot be met, the provider should have appropriate contingency plans and arrangements to mitigate the risks to people using the service.

Supported living premises and any equipment must meet people’s needs and, where possible, their preferences. This includes making sure that privacy, dignity and confidentiality are not compromised.

Reasonable adjustments must be made when providing equipment to meet the needs of people with disabilities, in line with requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

5. Use and maintenance

The service must make sure it meets the requirements of relevant legislation so that supported living premises and any equipment are properly used and maintained.

The Statement of Purpose and operational policies and procedures for the delivery of care and treatment should specify how the premises and equipment will be used.

Any change of use of premises and / or equipment should be informed by a risk assessment and the service must make appropriate alterations to premises and equipment where reasonably practical. Where this is not possible, it should have appropriate contingency plans and arrangements to mitigate the risks to people using the service. Alterations must be in line with current legislation and guidance.

There should be regular health and safety risk assessments of supported living premises (including grounds) and equipment. The findings of the assessments must be acted on without delay if improvements are required.

There should be suitable arrangements for the purchase, service, maintenance, renewal and replacement of premises (including grounds) and equipment. These arrangements must make sure that they meet the requirements of current legislation and guidance, manufacturers’ instructions and the provider’s policies or procedures.

The service must have operational policies and procedures and maintenance budgets to maintain their equipment, buildings and mechanical engineering and electrical systems so that they are sound, operationally safe and exhibiting only minor deterioration.

All equipment must be used, stored and maintained in line with manufacturers’ instructions. It should only be used for its intended purpose and by the person for whom is it provided.

The service must make sure that staff and others who operate the equipment are trained to use it appropriately.

6. Location

When planning the location of supported living premises, the service must take into account the anticipated needs of the people who will use the service and they should ensure easy access to other relevant facilities and the local community.

Facilities should be appropriately located to suit the accommodation that is being used. This includes short distances between linked facilities, sufficient car parking that is clearly marked and reasonably close, and good access to public transport.

Equipment must be accessible at all times to meet the needs of people using the service. This means it must be available when needed, or obtained in a reasonable time so as not to pose a risk to the person using the service. Equipment includes chairs, beds, clinical equipment, and moving and handling equipment.

7. Responsibilities of the Registered Manager

The responsible person must ensure the service is complying with guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care about the prevention and control of infections: Health and Social Care Act 2008: The Code of Practice for health and adult social care on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance.

Where applicable, premises must be cleaned or decontaminated in line with current legislation and guidance, and equipment must be cleaned, decontaminated and / or sterilised in line with current legislation and guidance and manufacturer’s’ instructions. Equipment must be cleaned or decontaminated after each use and between use by different people who use the service.

Ancillary services belonging to the provider, such as kitchens and laundry rooms, which are used for or by people who use the service, must be used and maintained in line with current legislation and guidance. People using the service and staff using the equipment should be trained to use it or supervised / risk assessed as necessary.

Multiple use equipment and devices must be cleaned or decontaminated between use. Single use and single person devices must not be re-used or shared. All staff must understand the risk to people who use services if they do not adhere to this.