Registered Care/Nursing Homes

Memorandum of Understanding with CQC

The NFCC continues in its latest Strategy document to reinforce its commitment to reduce community risk and vulnerability by developing key strategic partnerships to promote collaboration, provide consistency, reduce duplication and, where possible, share resources.

To support this, the NFCC has developed a Memorandum of Understanding and associated joint working protocol with the CQC on behalf of the Fire & Rescue Service. This underpins our commitment to support collaboration and information sharing, and joint working both strategically and locally in regions to reduce fire risk and improve protection for people in receipt of health and social care services. This will apply to both regulated premises (such as care homes, specialised housing) and to registered providers of care services in peoples own homes.

Whilst MOUs are not legally binding, they do carry a degree of seriousness, mutual respect and intent, and the MOU will allow NFCC and local FRSs to work with CQC representatives with consistency and clear objectives around joint working, fire prevention and promoting patient and public safety for those people in receipt of health and social care services.

Whilst there is no formal requirement for a local FRS to agree a local protocol, the current NFCC Strategy is clear in its role to encourage, negotiate and support all fire and rescue services in the UK. The Strategy goes on to state:

All fire and rescue services have local priorities, but by working together through the NFCC on the issues that affect us all, we can achieve solutions efficiently and effectively together and this MOU represents a good opportunity to deliver one such a solution.

You can view a copy of the MOU.

Registered Care/Nursing Homes – Useful information and guidance

It is recognized that the definition of ‘Registered Care/Nursing Home’ is designed to include primarily those homes registered with the Care Quality Commission which provide a degree of ‘personal care’. The current national guidance for fire safety is listed below.

These properties can vary from large purpose-built buildings to individual converted houses, and some have a mix of both care/nursing home and sheltered/supported living within the same building.

Note: there is often very little difference in dependency of residents between care/nursing homes and some forms of ‘Extra Care Sheltered Housing’ and ‘Supported Living’ in which no personal care is provided. In these latter cases, they may not be registered as a ‘Care/Nursing Home’ but the company providing the support/care may be registered separately with CQC. In these cases, the fire risks are similar in that some or all residents may be very dependent on staff to evacuate either parts of the building in cases of phased evacuation, or the whole building in cases of ‘supported’ simultaneous evacuation. In all cases, these have ‘complex evacuation strategies’ which are reliant on robust evacuation planning, staff levels and staff training.