RCPA Members Bulletin – 20th December 2023. Please read a roundup of the latest information and resources

The following announcement has just been made, pursuant to the item re visiting last week:


  • Regulations for Visiting Care Homes, Hospitals and Hospices 

The DHSC has now laid the regulations for visiting care homes, hospitals, and hospices in parliament via secondary legislation. They will come into force on 6 April 2024.

The regulations can be viewed here.


There will be a CQC consultation on the guidance and further information from DHSC in the New Year.

Note the explanatory notes at the end of the regulations:

“These Regulations amend the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 (“the 2014 Regulations”).

Regulation 2 amends the 2014 Regulations. Regulation 2(2) inserts a new fundamental standard, regulation 9A (visiting and accompanying in care homes, hospitals, and hospices), into the 2014 Regulations.


New regulation 9A provides as follows:

  • Regulation 9A(1) provides that regulation 9A applies to a registered person in respect of ‘relevant regulated activities’ (as defined in regulation 9A(6)) carried on in care homes, hospitals and hospices.
  • Regulation 9A(2) applies unless there are exceptional circumstances. It provides that service users must be facilitated to receive visits in a care home, hospital or hospice where their care or treatment involves an overnight stay or the provision of accommodation in those premises and that service users who are provided with accommodation in a care home must not be discouraged from taking visits out of the care home. It further provides that where a service user attends a hospital or hospice for the provision of care or treatment which does not involve an overnight stay, they must be enabled to be accompanied at the hospital or hospice.
  • Regulation 9A(3) sets out the things that a registered person must do to comply with regulation 9A(2), which includes, for example, putting in place necessary and proportionate precautions to enable a service user to receive visits or be accompanied safely.
  • Regulation 9A(4) provides that nothing in regulation 9A requires a service user to receive a visit, take a visit out of a care home or to be accompanied without their consent or where the service user does not have capacity, where it would not be in their best interests. In addition, it provides that nothing in regulation 9A requires or enables a registered person to do anything which would not be in accordance with any court or tribunal order or with any provision made in or under relevant legislation. Regulation 9A(5) sets out the relevant legislation.
  • Regulation 9A(6) sets out the definitions for terms used in regulation 9A.



Please also find attached some resources and a survey following the MCA/Dols drop-in session held last week.

  • Using the Mental Capacity Act in situations of self-neglect – a short survey for Somerset’s Safeguarding Adults Board (SSAB)

In a recent Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) into the death of a man who was resistant to support one key learning point was that a variety of professionals in different health and social care services struggled to use the Mental Capacity Act effectively to aid their thinking about how to address the situation. This difficulty has been echoed nationally in other SARs into situations of self-neglect.


The SSAB’s MCA group have been asked to consider how training and guidance to support this area of work might be developed across the county and we have decided to start this with a brief survey to help us better understand what aspects of mental capacity work people find most challenging. This survey is being completed over the next month or so by workers across health and social care who are likely to encounter this type of situation. The survey is anonymous, but we do need to know what service area you work in.


To complete the survey please use the following link. The survey will end on 18th January 2024.


Information from the survey will be used to inform some care provider safeguarding workshops in a few months’ time.



Please find below some dates and information for Mental Health Training with Optimise Workplace Wellbeing:

  • 2 Day, Level 3 Award in Mental Health First Aid

23rd and 24th Jan 2024 – 0930-1730 both days

19th and 26th March 2024 – 0930-1730 both days

The Ibis Hotel, Bridgwater

£245 per person for RCPA Members

Lunch, training materials and certificate included.

Throughout this 2-day course, learners will develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to actively promote positive mental health in the workplace by covering a range of topics, including: understanding mental health and its importance, awareness of their own wellbeing as a Mental Health First Aider, common mental health conditions, how to support those experiencing poor mental health at work with tools such as active listening and non-judgemental support.


What’s covered on the course:

  • Learn how to spot the signs and support people that are struggling with a wide range of mental health conditions, including:
  • Depression
  • Suicide
  • Anxiety Disorders (including OCD, Panic Disorder, Phobias, Social Anxiety, Separation Anxiety, Generalised Anxiety Disorder and PTSD)
  • Eating Disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Self-Injury
  • We look at each condition in detail and hear from people that have real lived experience of some of these conditions, which gives learners a deep understanding of what someone experiencing symptoms may be experiencing.
  • Understand and learn about the symptoms a person may be experiencing, what to say and how to support an individual in the best way for them.
  • The mental health continuum and the differences between mental health and mental illness, and the judgment and discrimination that is often felt around this topic due to stigma and lack of understanding.
  • Risk and Protective factors to our mental health and learn how to implement health habits and coping techniques, including self-care.
  • Stress and how to recognise, manage and cope with stress – this is a very important part of the course as stress is always present in any mental health condition, whether it’s the cause, a symptom or both.
  • Case Studies looking at scenarios and what we can do to help, what to say and where to access and signpost to the correct support, along with how to provide ongoing support.
  • Where and how to access support and different types of support that are available.
  • Recovery and Wellbeing Recovery Action Plans

This 2-day course is packed full of useful, helpful and lifesaving information to help others and yourself.


  • 1/2 Day, Level 1 Award in Understanding Mental Health 

7th March 2024 – 0900-1300

7th March 2024 – 1330-1730

The Ibis Hotel, Bridgwater

£45 per person for RCPA Members

Tea/coffee, training materials and certificate included.

This level 1 Award is a regulated and nationally recognised qualification for people who want to raise their awareness of mental health and improve their mindfulness in everyday life, whether that be in the workplace, at home or with family and friends.

Throughout this half day course, learners will be introduced to mental health issues such as depression and suicide and build an understanding of stress.

Topics include:

  • The mental health continuum and the differences between mental health and mental illness.
  • The signs of poor mental health and the 4 levels of functioning and when normal becomes an issue.
  • Stress and how to recognise, manage and cope with stress along with coping techniques.
  • Understanding depression, suicide, and anxiety and recognising the symptoms
  • An introduction to the use of appropriate language when supporting others and the importance of self-care as a tool to improve mental health.
  • Accessing and signposting to the correct support
  • Understanding the need for self-care and mindfulness


For more information, any queries or to book for these courses, please contact – Jo Ashton

Founder and Director

Optimise Workplace Wellbeing Ltd.

W: www.optimiseworkplacewellbeing.co.uk

E: hello@optimiseworkplacewellbeing.co.uk

T: 07912 446261