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Residential and nursing home care

If you or a family member cannot be supported to live in your own home, you may have to consider a residential care home to meet your needs.

How do I choose a residential or nursing home?

There are two main types of homes, residential and nursing.

  • Residential homes are for people who can no longer cope at home with their day to day activities and need a little extra help, such as providing meals and personal care.
  • Nursing homes are for people whose illness or infirmity requires nursing care on a regular or daily basis, so they have qualified nurses on the premises.

Please note some homes are dual registered, which means they have a mixture of people who need nursing and residential care within the home.

Many homes can offer placements on a short term basis (such if the carer goes on holiday etc.) or placements for more long term or permanent care.

There are a number of websites that have information on choosing the right residential care home or nursing home.

Surrey Information Point is a local directory that features all care home providers registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Care and Support Services Surrey is a directory of home care agencies, residential and nursing homes in Surrey, published by Care Choices. If you wish to receive a copy of Care and Support Services Surrey by post you can contact the adult social care team on 0300 200 1005 or complete an online enquiry form.

NHS Choices - Care Homes is a national website which contains information and helpful hints on choosing a care home, types of care homes, and trial periods in care homes.

Our Surrey County Council in-house residential homes for older people can offer a range of support options.

You can also contact the adult social care helpline on 0300 200 1005 for further advice and guidance on choosing the right care home.

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Who inspects residential and nursing homes?

From 1 April 2009 all health and social care services in England are registered and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), whether provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies or voluntary organisations.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), regularly inspects the organisations and publishes reports on their findings and ensure that all staff are police checked and health and safety standards are met.

The information provided by CQC is fair, accurate, easy to get hold of, and can be trusted. It helps people using health and adults social care services to find quality care. Information about health and social care providers can be found on their website:

You can contact them at the following address:

  • Care Quality Commission, St Nicholas Building, St Nicholas Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1NB.
  • Telephone: 03000 616161.
  • Email:

How do you go about registering my residential or nursing home?

If you own a home and want to become a registered care home you will need to get in touch with the Care Quality Commission, or access their website for details of the registration process.

Please also see Surrey Care Association for free and impartial information and guidance to independent providers of adult social care.

What do I do if I have a problem with a residential or nursing home?

If you have a problem with a care home or a care service in Surrey, first try to resolve the problem with the care provider by making them aware of your concerns. If you feel that the matter is not being dealt with to your satisfaction, you can contact your care manager if the care is being paid for either fully, or in part, by Surrey County Council. Please contact adult social care if you are unable to contact your care manager directly.

If you are paying for care services or care home services fully yourself, then contact the health and social care regulator for England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to let them know about your concerns. Find out more about CQC and how they deal with concerns about care on their web page: Complain about a care home or care service or visit

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  • Updated: 19 Sep 2013
  • Sonya Sellar
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