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New CQC guidance addresses relationship and sexuality needs

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published new guidance for care providers focussing on how they can consider and support the relationship and sexuality needs of people using care services.

New guidance to support relationships and sexuality for people receiving care has been publishedBuilding on the care watchdog’s quality framework, which looks at whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led, the new guidance, entitled ‘Relationships and sexuality in adult social care services,’ provides more detail on issues surrounding relationships, diversity and protecting people from harm.

It advises care providers how they can support people receiving care with complex issues such as forming and maintaining relationships, while also understanding risks.

Crucially, the guidance also highlights the importance of providing a care environment that is welcoming to people who identify as LGBTQ+ and how to support individuals who have physical disabilities.

The guidance looks at helping people to form and maintain relationshipsThe CQC worked with a number of care providers and public representative bodies to develop the guidance.

Claire Bates from the Supported Loving campaign and Sue Sharples of U-Night Group said it was “long-awaited” within the sector and that it would “give providers clarity and direction in relation to a sensitive and complex area of need.”

They added: “It affirms the link between supporting opportunities for sexual expression and personal wellbeing, within a framework of care services’ regulatory responsibilities.

“Our organisations were pleased to be consulted in the development phase of the guidance, including gaining the perspective of members with a learning disability.”

Meanwhile, the Acting Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC, Debbie Westhead, commented: “We know that the best care is person-centred and in supporting relationships and sexuality there can be no one approach that fits all.

The guidance highlights the importance of welcoming LGBTQ+ individuals“Supporting people to build and maintain relationships in the way they want to is incredibly important, regardless of who they are or what stage of life they are at. This guidance aims to ensure providers are supporting people to form and maintain sexual relationships that meet their needs, while also helping them to understand risks.”

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading national training provider. They deliver a wide range of high-quality training to over 75,000 learners annually, working with thousands of organisations and businesses across all sectors.

Their diverse portfolio includes training in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, health and social care and other special focus topics.

Their health and social care range includes Care Certificate Manuals and Level 1 Core Awards for the induction of new workers, Level 2 and 3 CoreSpecial Focus and Clinical Skills Awards mapped to the CQC fundamental standards and the RQF units as well as further training for managers, supervisors and assessors.

Relationships and sexuality can be a key part of living a happy, fulfilled lifeTheir portfolio includes training in subjects such as Person Centred Care and SupportPromoting Dignity in Care and Effective Communication, Safeguarding Adults and the Mental Capacity Act including DoLS, among many others.

They can also provide flexible distance learning manuals in key health and social care subjects, including Dementia Awareness, and have interactive e-learning programmes.

A Health and Social Care Trainer at FRT explains: “High-quality care and support is about helping people to lead fulfilling, happy and enriched lives. For many people, this will include forming and maintaining romantic and sexual relationships and so it’s very important that care providers have clear guidance about how they can support individuals to do this while always keeping them safe from harm.”

For more information on the training services that FRT can provide, please call them on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.

You can view and download the guidance online.

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