Skip to content

Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

MPS: Care homes

MPS: Care homes


The required built features of care homes

We would expect all new purpose – built care homes to meet the standards summarised below, and for existing homes to consider how well they currently meet these requirements and whether any refurbishments are required to ensure they can continue to meet people’s complex needs in the future.

Communal areas

  • Living areas should be designed to enable residents to experience small-group living within the home, a homely and domestic feel, and access to quiet spaces including a space for receiving visitors in private.
  • Provision of a communal lounge, eating area, kitchenette and easy access to a toilet nearby, for clusters of around 10 bedrooms. Around 3.5m2 of communal space per resident, excluding circulation space should be provided.
  • Equipment, signage, internal colour and finishes and landscaping should enable the independence of people who have mobility problems, may be physically frail, may be learning disabled, or who may have a visual, hearing or a cognitive impairment including dementia (Detailed advice on dementia friendly design can be obtained from the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling and the Kings Fund especially the EHE Environmental Assessment Tool.)
  • The building design should maximise natural light and lighting in communal rooms should be domestic in character, sufficiently bright and positioned to facilitate reading and other activities
  • Communal areas (particularly those accessible to the public should be carefully located to ensure that areas where resident’s rooms and shared bathrooms are located remain private and secure
  • Enough storage space to ensure that personal mobility equipment, hoists etc can be stored when not in use.
  • Easy access (wheel chair accessible) to safe outdoor environments where residents can relax, safely walk or take part in outdoor activities
  • Access to all areas of the home, should be fully wheelchair accessible and lift access should be provided to all floors.
  • General design should support the needs of all service users, including those with dementia, physical, sensory and cognitive impairments.
  • Doorways into communal areas, service users’ rooms, bathing and toilet facilities and other spaces accessible to residents must have a clear opening width of 840 mm, off corridors a minimum of 1200 mm wide.
  • The building should be enabled for Technology Enabled Care (TEC) equipment both in terms of hardwiring and WiFi enabled environments to accommodate future ICT developments. Internet access/WIFI must be available in all resident’s rooms.



  • All bedrooms should include ‘en-suite’ facilities including a toilet and wash basin as a minimum, (ideally also a wet room shower) with adequate space for carer assistance
  • The minimum size requirements for a single bedroom should be 13 m2 (excluding en-suite facility). The layout should allow space for relatives to visit in the room and for a carer to access both sides of the bed where required. Rooms should be accessed by a lockable door (that is capable of being opened by staff in an emergency). Covered storage for provisions such as continence products, catheter equipment etc. should be provided, along with a lockable space for valuables.  Residents should be able to directly control the heating, lighting and ventilation in their room.
  • Bedroom ceilings need to be strong enough to hold an overhead hoist. The layout of the room also needs to accommodate the use of a hoist e.g. a direct line from the bed to the bathroom
  • Care Homes considering offering services to bariatric residents will have to ensure that care homes include additional structural and weight bearing requirements within the building to accommodate their needs including additional support for hoists and wider access requirements to rooms and shower facilities.


(Return to the Market Position Statement)

Last updated: 09/10/2020

Have some feedback or can't
find what you were looking for?