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Visiting people

One of the best ways to check that people are getting the care and treatment they need is to meet with them, and ask them what they think.

We visit people in hospital, in their own home or in a care home, in secure accommodation, or in any other setting where they are receiving care and treatment. About a quarter of our visits are unannounced. 

Watch this short film to find out more about our visits, and continue reading below.

This film is available with BSL translation here.

We produce reports on all of our visits to people using services, so that services can learn from them and improve the care and treatment they provide. We never identify people in our published reports.

We regularly visit mental health and learning disability services. We do this through either:

Local visits - to people who are being treated or cared for in local services, such as a particular hospital ward, a local care home, local supported accommodation, or a prison. We produce reports after each of these visits and make recommendations for change when necessary, which we will follow up if we feel progress is not being made.

We publish local visit reports on our website and you can find them here.

Themed visits - to people with similar health issues, or in similar situations, across the country. 

We publish themed visit reports and you can find them here.

Welfare guardianship visits - where we visit people who have a court-appointed welfare guardian. The guardian may be a family member, friend, carer, or social worker.

Monitoring visits - where we visit people who are subject to specific areas of mental health and incapacity legislation, due to our statutory duty to monitor the operation of the law in this area. On these visits we look at compliance with the legislation, and at the experience of people who are receiving treatment. We also look for examples of good practice that we can share.

Other visits - for example, we visit when someone who is detained in hospital in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland is transferred to a hospital in Scotland. We also visit some young people admitted to an adult ward.