Regulated Care vs. Non-Regulated Care in Homecare Services

When it comes to selecting homecare services, whether for yourself or a loved one, understanding the distinction between regulated and non-regulated care is crucial. This knowledge not only helps in making informed choices but also ensures that the care received meets the necessary standards for quality and safety. In this article, we will explore what regulated and non-regulated care entail, their differences, and the implications of choosing one over the other.

What is Regulated Care?

Regulated care refers to health and social care services that are supervised and inspected by a regulatory body. In the United Kingdom, the primary regulatory body for health and social care services is the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC ensures that services meet legal requirements and standards of quality and safety.

Services that fall under regulated care include:

  • Residential care homes

  • Nursing homes

  • Homecare providers

  • GP practices

  • Hospitals

  • Dental practices

The main characteristics of regulated care


Providers must be registered with the CQC and other relevant bodies.


Regular inspections are carried out to ensure compliance with health and safety standards.

Standards of Care

Providers must adhere to established protocols and quality measures.


Inspection reports and ratings are publicly available, offering insight into the quality of care provided.

What is Non-Regulated Care?

Non-regulated care encompasses services that do not fall under the purview of regulatory bodies like the CQC. These services might include:

  • Companionship

  • Running errands

  • Housekeeping

  • Meal preparation

  • Other forms of personal assistance not involving medical care

While non-regulated care providers can offer valuable support that enhances quality of life, they are not required to meet the stringent standards set by regulatory bodies. This doesn’t necessarily mean that non-regulated services are of lower quality, but they do operate without the same level of oversight.

Key Differences Between Regulated and Non-Regulated Care

  • Oversight and Accountability

    Regulated care providers are regularly inspected and held accountable by official regulatory bodies, ensuring adherence to strict standards. Non-regulated providers, while they may maintain high standards, do not undergo these official inspections.

  • Scope of Services

    Regulated care typically involves medical and personal care that requires a higher level of training and certification. Non-regulated care often focuses on lifestyle support and can be provided by individuals without medical or healthcare certifications.

  • Safety and Quality

    With regulated care, the emphasis on safety and quality is enforced by law. Non-regulated care relies more on the discretion of providers and recommendations from previous clients.

  • Cost and Insurance

    Regulated care may be more expensive due to the qualifications of the caregivers and the regulatory costs incurred by the provider. However, it is more likely to be covered by insurance or public health systems.

Choosing the Right Type of Care

Choosing between regulated and non-regulated care depends on several factors, including the specific needs of the individual requiring care, the level of medical intervention needed, and personal preferences regarding oversight and safety. For instance, someone with serious health issues may require the specialised skills found in regulated care, whereas an individual who needs help with day-to-day activities might find non-regulated care perfectly adequate.


Both regulated and non-regulated care have their place in supporting individuals to live fulfilling lives according to their specific needs. When making a decision, it is essential to assess the level of care required, consider the potential for oversight and regulation, and evaluate the credentials of the care provider. By understanding the distinctions between regulated and non-regulated care, families can make more informed choices that best suit their needs and ensure the safety and well-being of their loved ones.

We are a fully regulated homecare provider

At Nurseplus Care at home, we are a fully regulated provider and promise the highest level of care and support. Our local branches have been recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as 'Outstanding' and 'Good,' assuring you of the exceptional quality of our services.

Find out more
We are a fully regulated homecare provider

More Help and Advice


What is the Care Quality Commission (CQC)?

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They are responsible for ensuring that all care services, including homecare services, meet certain standards of quality and safety.

Find out more

How Companionship Care Can Help Prevent Dementia

By focusing on some of the key practices known to promote a healthier lifestyle we can have a positive effect on reducing the effects of dementia

Find out more

Supporting Someone After a Stroke

Following a stroke, individuals may experience a wide array of after-effects, ranging from emotional and physical challenges to social and practical adjustments.

Find out more