Essential information

Inspection and registration of care services

All care providers must be registered under a system introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2008, which brings adult social care, independent healthcare and the NHS under a single set of essential standards of quality and safety for the first time.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They regulate care provided through a range of methods including:

  • registering providers to ensure they are meeting the essential standards of quality and safety;
  • monitoring how providers comply with the standards;
  • promoting improvement in services;
  • using enforcement powers where necessary;
  • publishing up to date information about the compliance of adult social care providers with essential standards of safety and quality.

Following an inspection, each service is given a report of how it rates against national essential standards of quality and safety. Each service’s report can be seen on the CQC

For any enquiries or to register a concern or a complaint, contact CQC
by telephone: 03000 616161 or by email:
The Care Quality Commission
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4PA

When considering care services, it’s always a good idea to check a service’s inspection report on the Care Quality Commission’s comprehensive website:

Comments, compliments and complaints

All organisations need to know how they are performing. They are happy to receive your feedback on their service whether they are compliments or complaints. Feel free to tell them what you think and your comments can be used constructively to improve the service.

If you do need to make a complaint you should feel able to complain about any aspect of your care that affects your happiness or comfort. This could be about the way you are treated by a staff member or the quality of the food you are served. You can also make comments and suggestions about possible improvements to your surroundings and the services provided.

Making a complaint should not be difficult for you. Providers are required under essential standards of quality and safety to have a simple and easy to use complaints procedure that they will be happy to give you. If you are concerned about the care that you, a friend or a relative is receiving, it makes sense to speak to the manager before you take any further action. The problem may be resolved quite easily once they are made aware of it. However, if you need to make a formal complaint, you should initially contact the registered owners of the service. They have a duty to respond to any complaints made.

If Adult Social Care have arranged and funded your care, another option is to complain to your social worker/care manager or the Complaints Manager in your local council:

The Complaints Manager
Dorset County Council Adult and Community Services
County Hall, Colliton Park, Dorchester DT1 1XJ
Tel: 01305 228563

The Complaints Manager
Adult Social Care
Borough of Poole, Freepost BH910, Poole BH15 2BR
Tel: 01202 261158

The Adults’ and Children’s Complaints Manager
Bournemouth Borough Council
Town Hall, Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth BH2 6DY
Tel: 01202 458953

Have your say about local services

Healthwatch is the new independent consumer champion created to gather and represent the views of the public. Healthwatch plays a role at both national and local level and will make sure that the views of the public and people who use services are taken into account.

Three Dorset organisations – Help & Care, Citizens Advice in Dorset and Dorset Race Equality Council – have joined forces and will work to ensure the health and well-being of Dorset’s residents is championed across the county.

Local Healthwatch has taken on the work of the Local Involvement Networks (LINks) and also represents the views of people who use services, carers and the public on the Health and Wellbeing boards set up by local authorities, provides information and signposting about local health and care services and reports concerns about the quality of healthcare to Healthwatch England, which can then recommend that the Care Quality Commission take action.

To contact Healthwatch Dorset:
In person at any Citizens Advice Bureau in Dorset, Poole or Bournemouth. To find your local office please see or the useful contacts section of this Directory on page 50.

Write to Local Healthwatch (free) at:
Healthwatch Dorset Freepost BH1902, 896 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth BH7 6BR
Telephone: 0300 111 0102 (calls cost the same as to 01 or 02 numbers)
Further developments regarding Healthwatch England can be found at

Protecting vulnerable adults

Report abuse of a vulnerable adult
A vulnerable adult is any person aged 18 years or over

  • who is or may be in need of community services because of mental or other illness, disability or age, and
  • who is, or may be, unable to take care of themselves against significant harm or serious exploitation.

Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights and may consist of a single act or repeated actions. It may be physical, sexual, financial, psychological or institutional, or may relate to neglect or discrimination.

If you have concerns that a vulnerable adult is being abused:

  • Call your local Adult Social Care department (including out of hours) on the relevant numbers on page 48.
  • If there is a danger to life, a risk of injury or a crime is taking place, call the Police by dialling 999.
  • If the vulnerable adult is living in a registered care home or receiving domiciliary (home) care services, you can contact the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on 03000 616 161.
  • You can also share your concerns with a public service professional, such as a social worker, community nurse, GP, probation officer or district nurse who will be able to offer advice and support.

In Dorset, there are a large number of investigators within Adult Care Services who have been jointly trained with Dorset Police. The investigators are generally registered social workers who have undertaken further specialist training and who know a great deal about the types of concern that arise.

To report any incident of abuse in Dorset, contact the Adult Access Team:
Dorset Direct Tel: 01305 221016
or Dorset Police – telephone: 01202 222222

Concerned people in the Borough of Poole should report what they believe to be any abuse of vulnerable adults to the Adult Social Care Helpdesk:
Tel: 01202 633902 Out of hours service: 01202 657279
5.00pm-8.40am Monday to Thursday and 4.00pm-8.40am Friday to Monday including Bank Holidays.

If you know someone is being abused in Bournemouth, or think they may be, contact
Bournemouth Care Direct.
Tel: 01202 454979

Alternatively, speak to Bournemouth Public Protection Unit during office hours on 01202 220502 (this Unit covers both Bournemouth and Poole). Out of office hours call Dorset Police on 01202 222222.

If you require further information relating to safeguarding vulnerable adults you can visit the Bournemouth and Poole Safeguarding Adults Board website at

The Registered Nursing Homes Association

Good nursing homes continue to provide a safe, comfortable, caring environment for anyone requiring nursing – whether long-term or for short-stay respite, convalescence, or rehabilitation.

The nursing home of today is a far cry from the outdated perception of latter years. Today’s nursing home combines an ambience of the client’s personal home, with quality furnishings and surroundings, together with a warm caring atmosphere backed up by qualified, professional nursing staff. A total package of care is provided, designed exclusively for the individual, which encompasses social, medical and welfare needs.
It may be that you are making the choice, or more likely nowadays, a family member or close friend is looking on your behalf.

There is one level of comfort that can go a long way to removing some of the concerns of placement – choosing a ‘blue cross’ home.

What should you expect from a quality ‘blue cross’ home?

  • 24 hour nursing services provided by a team led by a qualified nurse.
  • Accommodation furnished and equipped to provide comfortable ‘homely’ surroundings. Most homes have lifts, lounges, dining rooms and gardens/ conservatories.
  • General welfare, social and occupational therapy activities designed to enhance your quality of life.

The most important consideration from your perspective is that the nursing home provides a holistic approach to care – all aspects of health are taken into consideration and the use of NHS or GP resources ensures prompt action. If you are frail or elderly, detecting health problems, and responding early, stops you suffering unnecessary pain or discomfort and prevents avoidable traumatic admission to hospital.

The Registered Nursing Homes Association
John Hewitt House, Tunnel Lane, off Lifford Lane,
Kings Norton, Birmingham B30 3JN
Freephone: 0800 074 0194
Tel: 0121 451 1088 Fax: 0121 486 3175