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CQC launches resources to support culturally appropriate care

by Jess Hacker
26 May 2021

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published new guidance designed to support the provision of care that is appropriate to a person’s cultural identity.

The resource (published 20 May) contains examples of good practice to help services think about the ways a person’s culture might affect the way they wish to receive care.

It said that it is important that providers ask people – or those who represent them – questions, to help to understand and meet people’s preferences.

The resource also highlights the need for staff to protect people from discrimination and harassment over protected characteristics, including age, disability, ethnicity, religion, sexuality and gender reassignment.

During the pandemic, service users may have spent more time with people who do not share their culture, such as in care homes, the CQC said.

Culturally appropriate care can be especially significant for people who are at the end of their life or have lost someone close to them.

How does this fit with the CQC’s key questions?

The CQC said that culturally appropriate care is relevant to its five key lines of enquiry (KLOEs): safe, effective, caring, responsive, and well-led.

It added that such care is relevant to Regulations 9, 10 and 11: person centred care, dignity and respect, and need for consent, respectively.

The CQC advised that providers should record and act on cultural considerations about medicines, and that if someone lacks capacity for a particular decision, the service should take their cultural preferences into account when applying the Mental Capacity Act.

Staff should also recognise when people’s preferences are not being taken on board or properly respected, it advised.

Similarly, it suggested that people and their families should be involved in developing care plans, and that these plans are reviewed regularly.

Meanwhile, managers should have a good understanding of equality, diversity and human rights, having created a ‘positive culture’ that is person-centred, open and empowering.

‘Prolonged’ time alone

Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said that ‘so many people have suffered heart-breaking separation from family and loved ones’ over a ‘prolonged period of time’ during the pandemic.

‘This has had an especially significant impact on people who live in care settings but find that those around them don’t understand their culture and may make assumptions which are not correct or appropriate,’ she said.

‘Everyone is part of a culture. People need their culture to be recognised and their cultural needs met to feel happy and comfortable. But some people’s cultural needs are more likely to be met because they are closer to cultural norms in the service.’