The legality of staffing requirements


Posted on June 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

|Peter Grose discusses the significance of a recent Court of Appeal ruling and the National Minimum Standards| In May the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) published guidance on staffing levels in care homes. By coincidence, in the same month the Court of Appeal published a decision dealing with the legality of imposed staffing levels. Both will have important consequences for care home providers. In Douce v Staffordshire County Council, Mr and Mrs Douce brought a case in negligence against Staffordshire County Council (SCC). The Douces owned three care homes in Staffordshire and their claim was that SCC had negligently required them to overstaff their care homes. Until 1996, SCC had a policy to require staffing up to the maximum occupancy figure stated in the registration certificate, ie “staffing to capacity”. This policy was imposed regardless of the actual occupancy of the home. SCC was not alone in this. Several other social services authorities and health authorities had the same policy. For a n





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