Users of supported living for younger adults (18–65 years) and extra care for older people over 65 years share common characteristics. All occupy a home or accommodation that they own or rent, but which also enables them to receive the care and support that they need to keep and promote their independence.

In its White Paper, People at the Heart of Care: Adult Social Care Reform (February 2022), the Government projects that supported housing for all ages in England is estimated to increase by 125,000 by 2030.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) considers “supported living” to be a separate service type, although it inspects supported living services very much like a domiciliary care service.

Not all of the support provided to people in supported living services will meet the definition of personal care as defined in the Health and Social Care Act 2008. If none of the support involved personal care or another regulated activity, the supported living scheme would not require registration with the Care Quality Commission.

Some people in supported living accommodation could also be purchasing their care and support through personal or health care budgets, which if this took the form of employing personal assistants, it would fall outside the scope of CQC regulation.

Supported living providers should be aware that if they also provide supported living accommodation for looked after children aged 16–17 years, and from 28 April 2023 they must register that part of their service with Ofsted under new regulations made under the Care Standards Act 2000.

People’s care needs can be continuous or occasional but should always meet their individual needs. There is always a clear legal and contractual separation between the care a person receives and their accommodation, which is legally and contractually enforced.

It is only if the providing organisation carried out regulated activity such as “personal care” within their remit, it must by law seek registration with the CQC.

In supported living schemes for younger adults, the CQC does not have any authority over people’s accommodation as it has over care homes, where the accommodation and the care and support are registered as an entity. The CQC will not inspect the supported living accommodation, only the services provided under the definition of personal care.

To register with the CQC because it wants to carry out regulated activity, a supported living service must show that it can achieve all the applicable fundamental standards. It will be inspected against the five key questions.

  1. Is it safe?

  2. Is it effective?

  3. Is it caring?

  4. Is it responsive?

  5. Is it well-led?

This topic, which provides a general overview of the supported living sector for adults from 18–65 years, should be read with those on People with Learning Disabilities, Supporting People with Autism and the Mental Health topics.

There is a separate topic on Extra Care for Older People.

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