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Gardens and Outside Areas: Access and Safe Use in Care Homes (England) Policy

Policy Statement

This policy should be used in relation to the policies on assessing and managing risks to the people who live here.

It is produced in line with the requirements of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 to provide safe, person-centred care that always maintains people’s dignity and respect, particularly in respect of their access to and safe use of the home’s gardens and outside facilities.

The policy covers the responsibilities of the home for keeping people safe when they are using the gardens and outside facilities, while at the same time enabling them to gain full enjoyment from them.

{{org_field_name}} recognises that people might seek to make full use of the outside facilities for social purposes or to follow individual interests. People have the right of access to these outside areas as they do to any other communal areas. The home will do everything practicable to enable people to access and enjoy these areas as they choose.

It will provide support for any person who might not be able to use these facilities safely. No one living here will be disadvantaged from making use of the outside facilities as a result of their disability or condition, when they otherwise would seek to do so. This would go against the home’s policies on equality and inclusion and in some cases could amount to a deprivation of their freedom.

Risk Assessments

The outside facilities of the home are subject to regular (eg monthly) health and safety checks in line with statutory requirements to make sure that they do not contain any hazards that could result in residents being injured and coming to harm or being at risk of harm.

The checks include making sure that:

  1. the boundaries to the premises are secure
  2. areas for communal and private use are clearly marked, including any smoking areas
  3. people do not have access to areas where they might be put at risk, eg storage of clinical waste areas
  4. facilities, eg seats and tables, are secure and do not present a hazard
  5. safety measures are in place for any special features, eg ponds
  6. there are no hazards that could result in trips and falls and subsequent injury
  7. plants and trees do not present safety hazards as a result of seasonal growth and variation
  8. making sure that the area is attractive and comfortable, allowing full access and mobility, including wheelchair access
  9. there are no hazards from electrical sources and all installed lighting is working properly
  10. walking surfaces, including paths, paving and lawns are not hazardous.

{{org_field_name}} recognises that the risks will vary according to the weather and seasons and will make sure that people and their visitors are given the appropriate guidance and facilities to cope with the prevailing conditions, whether hot, cold, raining, etc.

People who might be at risk when using outside areas, eg from falls, will be given the appropriate staff support and equipment. Individual risks are written into their care plans and managed accordingly.

Training

All new staff receive training in all aspects of assessing and managing risks in line with the home’s policy.

Further specialised training in different areas of risk assessment and management is provided as required by individual roles and responsibilities.


Responsible Person: {{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

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