The high standards we set for ourselves

Quality of services is at the heart of everything we do. We set ourselves the highest of standards to ensure that what we do is to the best of our ability. We have many measures of the quality service we provide. Read about how we are regulated and the high standards that we set for ourselves.


Abbeyfield was founded in 1956 by Richard Carr-Gomm an ex-army officer from the Coldstream Guards. He recognised that there were many older people living alone and without companionship and he wanted to provide them with support and security. Spending his Army gratuity on the first Abbeyfield house in Bermondsey, East London he invited four older people from the community to live with him.

He then bought another house and housed four more people and so it began. Over the next 60 years, this has grown to over 500 houses and homes, all founded with the same commitment to providing support and alleviating loneliness.

We are proud of what we do, and not only are we monitored and regulated by the Regulator for Social Housing and the Quality Commission, but we have implemented our own bespoke quality standard.

You can rest assured that with Abbeyfield, you’re in good hands. 


Our Quality Programme

Our Quality Programme was created to guarantee the quality of our service and ensure that there is consistency in its delivery. As an organisation, we don’t wish to stand still. Progress and aspirations are integral to quality. Furthermore, we aspire to lead and influence and this can only be done by providing concrete evidence of both our ethos and effectiveness.

To us, your happiness, enjoyment and welfare are paramount and that means that you and your family can be safe in the knowledge that you’ll be receiving the very best care and support available. Our houses and homes are registered with external regulatory bodies such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), who monitor our performance and carry out audits. CQC reports are available to the public, and you can look at the report findings for each residential home.

The quality of our services is important to us so we have also established our own Quality Programme which encompasses all of our houses and homes. Our own team of quality assessors monitor and evaluate our facilities, staff and services to ensure that every individual’s well-being and needs are in good hands, and that there is consistency in service delivery.

Our internal Quality Programme focuses on ensuring that our homes and housing meet a robust set of criteria, which includes ensuring that we listen to the opinions and feedback of residents and their families, and goes above and beyond the minimum standards. There are six sections to our Core Standard which cover Leadership, Residents, Staff, Volunteers, Marketing and the Home itself.

Our residents' views

Each year, we take part in the Ipsos Mori 'Your Care Rating' survey. This externally managed independent survey asks residents about a range of things relating to their care and well-being, and if their needs are not only being met, but met well. We always score very highly in this survey which is benchmarked across the industry. 

The Your Care Rating website allows potential residents and their families to look up individual homes and see how they fared across all categories.

Regulator of Social Housing (RSH)

The RSH regulates social housing providers to make sure that they’re well managed and financially secure. All registered providers must meet the consumer standards, but only private providers (not-for-profit and for-profit providers) need to meet the economic standards.

Economic standards

Providers’ boards are responsible for ensuring their organisation meets the economic standards. As regulator the RSH will proactively seek assurance from providers that they are meeting the standards. There are three economic standards: the Governance and Financial Viability Standard, the Value for Money Standard and the Rent Standard.

Consumer standards

These standards apply to all registered providers, including local authorities. The standards are set so that tenants, landlords and others know what is expected of them. This helps tenants to hold landlords to account.

Providers’ boards are responsible for making sure their organisation meets the standards. Unlike our economic standards we do not proactively seek assurance that providers are meeting our consumer standards. Instead, the RSH's role is limited by law to setting the consumer standards and intervening only where failure to meet the standards has caused, or could have caused, serious harm to tenants. This is known as the serious detriment test.

There are four consumer standards:

  • tenant involvement and empowerment
  • home
  • tenancy and neighbourhood
  • community

Intervention and enforcement

If there is evidence that a provider is failing to comply with the standards then action is taken. This will depend on which standards the provider has failed to meet, and the way in which that failure has happened. Providers are expected to identify problems themselves and take effective action to resolve them.

If a provider has been unable to solve their own problems (or is unwilling to do so), or if urgent action is necessary, enforcement will occur. This may be as simple as requiring the provider to sign a voluntary undertaking to resolve any issues, to appointing new members to their board. If action is taken with a provider then it is likely that they will have their governance and viability downgraded in a published regulatory judgement.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The CQC is the regulator for all health and social care services in England.

A regulator is an organisation that checks services meet the government’s standards or rules about care. They are an independent body, which means they are not a part of the Government and their role is to speak up for people who use services. Services included under CQC are hospitals, dentists, ambulances, care homes and home care - services that support people in their own homes.

What the CQC checks

The government's standards cover all areas of care, so the CQC checks that people get good, safe health and social care and the service meets the rules set by Government. This includes:

  • respecting people and treating them in the way we all expect to be treated
  • making sure people receive the food and drink they need.
  • giving people care in clean, safe buildings
  • managing services and having the right staff

Once inspected, the service is placed on a register. Anyone can go to the CQC website and check the rating for a care home or find services which offer care in the home..

If a service is not deemed good enough to pass all the fundamental standards, a number of measures are taken, and these are published so that everyone is aware. A warning may be issued, with advice on how the service must change. The service can be closed to any new people, or if it’s particularly bad, it can be closed altogether.