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How to provide culturally appropriate care

Person-centred care is about more than meeting an individual’s physical needs. It involves being sensitive to their cultural identity, heritage and beliefs. A person’s cultural identity includes their ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexuality, and gender. Deaf people who use British Sign Language are also said to have their own culture.

As well as the cultural needs of your service users, you need to be aware of the needs of your staff and ensure your business promotes and supports diversity and equality.

At your mock CQC inspection, we can assess how you’re measuring up against the requirement of delivering culturally appropriate care.

Why is culturally appropriate care important?

Our culture is part of our identity. It informs our personal relationships and may affect how people want to receive care. Service users may not live with or near to people who share their culture, and may feel isolated. If they’ve recently moved into a care home, it could be their first time living with people who don’t share their culture, background or religion. It’s your responsibility as a care giver to understand their culture and avoid making assumptions that may be incorrect or inappropriate. 

It’s important that religious and spiritual people can attend places of worship and have somewhere to pray. They may need to eat at different times during festivals, and you should encourage them to keep items such as prayer beads or holy books in their rooms. 

How can you understand other cultures?

Don’t be afraid of asking service users or their representatives about their culture. You may be worried about seeming insensitive but people often welcome the chance to tell you about themselves, and it’s important to ensure you thoroughly understand and can meet people’s preferences.

The CQC has also put together a dedicated resource with guidance on providing culturally appropriate care. As well as examples of care, it has a useful section on understanding cultural values.

Which regulations relate to culturally appropriate care?

As well as regulation 9: person-centred care, pay attention to regulation 10: dignity and respect, and regulation 11: the need for consent.

There will be cultural considerations around medication, foods, activities, and events, and you should actively support people who want to take part in significant cultural events. Personal care needs may vary, such as religious and cultural requirements relating to hair care and bathing.

Religious and spiritual people, in particular, may have beliefs and preferences around end-of-life care, and they will need to feel listened to and respected.

Staff also need to be trained to protect colleagues and service users from discrimination and harassment and to ensure all visitors are made to feel welcome. 

What does Outstanding leadership look like?

When it comes to leadership, your service should have a positive, person-centred culture that is open, inclusive, and empowering. You, your managers, and staff should be able to demonstrate a good understanding of equality and human rights.

Your care must promote equality and diversity, and your team and service users should be encouraged to express their views and concerns. Any feedback must be actioned to help shape the service and culture.

If there is an instance of inequality, action should be taken, and staff should feel they are all treated fairly and equally.

If you want more advice on how to provide culturally appropriate care, more information on any other aspect of your CQC inspection or to arrange a mock CQC inspection today, get in touch with the team on 0333 444 5344 or email

Teaching methods helped with retention and understanding of information.

Reablement Support Worker | Nexxus Care

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