NICE quality standards describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in a defined care or service area. Each standard consists of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements. They draw on existing guidance, which provides an underpinning, comprehensive set of recommendations, and are designed to support the measurement of improvement.

This quality standard covers home care given to older people in their own homes to meet their assessed social care needs. An age threshold is not specified for older people. Although almost 80% of people using home care services are over 65, the quality standard may also be relevant to some people under 65 with complex needs. The quality standard does not cover intermediate care, short-term reablement, home care for younger adults or children using home care services. For more information see the home care topic overview.