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How safe and effective is rehab?

Posted by David Williams
on 27 Jan 2020

Rehab clinics are closely regulated and must be safe and effective. Stringent checks take place to regularly ensure it is the case.

There are two types of rules and regulations prevalent in the world of rehab – the external ones and the internal guidance and expectation set to keep everyone safe.

Strict external rules and regulations govern, monitor and assess the effectiveness and safety of treatment. 

In England, providers must meet minimum standards to operate and are graded outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate under the headings ‘safe’, ‘effective’, ‘caring’, ‘responsive’, ‘well-led’.

Traditionally, lots of internal rules have also been a big part of rehab, but this aspect is now being challenged by forward-thinking clinics as it isn’t always conducive to a caring and compassionate environment for recovery. Some guest expectations obviously do need to be maintained however in order to keep everyone safe.

In this post we’ll explore:

  • The rules and regulations that govern rehab
  • The CQC and its role in private rehab and detox
  • Internal rules and guidelines within residential addiction treatment 
  • Why we minimise rules at Delamere

Rules and regulations that govern rehab

In England, providers of private residential rehab and detox must be registered with the independent regulator of health the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC sets high standards for safety, effectiveness, management and treatment of guests and inspects providers regularly to ensure these are being sufficiently met. Inspection reports are published online and can be viewed by anyone on the CQC website. 

The process is a little like the Ofsted reports for schools and produces detailed information about the findings of any data and feedback analysis as well as inspections it carries out.

The CQC helps to ensure services are run by sufficiently trained and competent staff and that clinical leadership and governance is up to standard.

The CQC’s role in private rehab and detox services

The CQC focuses on five core questions when assessing health services including private rehab and detox.

These are:

  1. Are services safe? The CQC wants to ensure people in treatment are protected from harm and abuse, including considerations about whether appropriate medications are available and can be properly prescribed, administered and securely kept. Ensuring all staff are appropriately vetted is also part of this.
  1. Is the service effective? Regulators ensure good outcomes are achieved and that treatment is based on the best available evidence.
  1. Is it a caring environment? Inspectors will assess whether people in the care of a treatment provider are treated with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
  1. Are the service providers responsive? Checks focus on whether the needs of guests are really met.
  1. Is the leadership and management good? Assurance checks designed to ensure the culture of the organisation is positive and governance is in place to ensure standards are maintained.

Providers of health care must meet the statutory requirements set out in the Health and Social Care Act and Care Quality Commission Regulations.

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Internal rules and expectations within residential addiction treatment 

Residential rehab used to be run like a bootcamp, with the belief people who had fallen foul of addiction needed to be taken in hand, given routine and chores and shown a different way to live.

Modern forward-thinking rehab takes a position of compassion and understanding. People do not choose to be addicted. They need to be looked after and treated with care and compassion to overcome it – not left with a sense of judgement, blame or punishment.

Some rules obviously remain to ensure safety, but it’s our belief that these should be kept to a minimum.

Rules that may be prevalent in some rehab environments include:

  1. No mobile phones

Some clinics have a complete ban on mobile phones in a bid to keep guests focused on recovery and prevent harmful interactions.

It’s our belief that mobile phones are part of life – and learning to live with them positively is an important part of recovery and preparedness for life after treatment.

Most clinics will issue guidance on what can and cannot be brought into rehab and a packing list is often available to assist with this.

  1. Attendance at all sessions from Day One

It’s very common for people in residential treatment to be compelled to begin attending group treatment sessions from Day One.

Our belief is that this can be a negative thing for the individuals who may not yet be strong enough for group work, either because they need appropriate support to manage and deal with the physical withdrawal from a substance or alcohol or due to emotional triggers.

  1. Helping with domestic chores

Taking your place on a rota to complete domestic chores around rehab – and a penalty system for failing to complete responsibilities – is something some rehab settings practice.

We have seen this become an area of unnecessary conflict and frustration in treatment settings and so we chose not to do this at Delamere.

Why we minimise rules at Delamere

Following and meeting external rules and regulations around safety, effectiveness and standards is of utmost importance to us at Delamere, where excellence is a priority.

Internal rules and regulations that dictate how guests must get well are not something we embrace in the same way. We keep our list of expectations to a minimum in order to allow for personal differences and expression.

We understand that entering treatment is daunting and takes courage and humility. Transparency and compassion are key.

From the moment people contact us, we want them to know we are in this together and we’re on the same team, with the aim of rebuilding them and their lives. 

We’ll do everything we can to reassure you about what happens in rehab and how you’ll be supported, rather than instructed, to get well.

Need help?
Call us confidentially at any time to speak to a member of our team.

Call us now: 0330 111 2015
How safe and effective is rehab?
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How safe and effective is rehab?
Find out how safe and effective rehab really is at Delamere Health's blog. Also take a look at why we minimise rules at our rehab facility.
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Delamere Rehab
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About the author: David Williams

David is our General Manager at Delamere. David brings a huge amount of experience from both the hospitality and healthcare sectors. Find out more about David on our team page.

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