All health and social care providers need a good number of care policies to demonstrate to their regulators that the care they offer is safe, caring, effective, responsive and well led,  this means having policies and procedures which meet the standards for care as identified in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014,

There are many ways that a provider can go about getting their care policies, this includes:

  • Writing them all in house.
  • Copying and ‘borrowing’ them from various people
  • Cobbling them together from on-line forumsNurse at nurse station
  • Buying them from a policy provider

Option one is very time consuming, with the average policy taking about a day to research and complete.  This means a suite of care policies should easily be completed in say a year of the registered managers time assuming they have nothing else to do.

Even updating care policies is time consuming with on average a couple or three policies needing updating a week and during challenging time, as we saw in COVID, almost daily!


Time to update blue label on white background. Blue banner. Vector illustration

Then there is the question of whether the policies are up to standard, which is not something the manager will find out until an inspection!

So perhaps do it yourself needs to be restricted to a bit of painting and wall papering at home?

There are similar problems with getting policies from your mates, online forums and via popular search engine searches….  How do you know what you have is:

  • good quality
  • up to date
  • contains what it needs to
  • will work for you and your team?

Of course borrowed, or stolen, policies also need some work with formatting and ensuring they refer to your service, rather than the service of some other provider.

This is all time consuming and at the end of that time what’s the result?

A policy suite made up of borrowed policies is disjointed, lacks cohesion and cross referencing and is probably just wrong in places.

But hey, its cheap….. which is exactly what the regulator or your lawyer will say when your policies fail you and the people you care for.  Just don’t do it.

Collage of group people women and men over colorful yellow backgroundIn an online discussion a week or so ago I was told that you  should not buy care policies from providers because they are too generic.  Is this right? And if it is, is it a problem?

Here’s what we think at CAREis. No and, no.

First, are care policies from providers generic, well actually yes some are, but then so to are NICE guidelines, SCIE guidance and every piece of legislation ever.  Why, because they need to be, that’s why.

So a policy about about treating a service user for a head injury, doing CPR, catheter care or providing person-centred care is going to be generic because in every situation when carers are doing these things the basis of what they need to do is the same.  Why, well because they are driven by evidence, good practice guidelines and regulation.  It’s not open to negotiation or interpretation.

Does that means they are generic, well yes and no.  Most providers of care policies and procedures, enable the purchasing service to make some amendments and additions to make them personal to the service.

At CAREis,, for example our care policies are created so services can identify there registered manager, safeguarding and GDPR leads with contact details for example.

We also have a text box for services to personalise content where they feel the need.  So they are generic, but not in a bad way.

There is another reason they are generic, that is because those of us who write care policies also know that there are things we have to include in certain policies.  These then appear in all similar policies created by care policy providers. So generic in a good way.

Senior woman sitting on sofa at home suffering from depression

Does this matter?  Well yes in a good way and no in reality.

Yes because it means that policies which are out and about and in use identify good practice and can be used to underpin that – good way.

Yes because care policies provided by good policy agencies have been seen and tried and tested at inspections, so they work – good way.

And so in reality it does not matter that they are generic care policies, they do what they need to do.

In a further blog in this series we will look at some of the other reasons care providers should opt for agency provided policies, and what to look for in those policies.  For now most providers have here a number of good reasons they should use a policy provider.

If you’re interested give us a call or drop us a line at CAREis.