E: support@e-carehub.co.uk

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Access to the Homes of People Who Use a Supported Living Service (England) Policy

Policy Statement

This policy sets out the values, principles and procedures underpinning this care service’s approach to obtaining legitimate access to the homes of the people being supported and for seeking emergency access if there is no response to occasions when we need access.

{{org_field_name}} recognises that the people whom we are supporting are tenants or owners of the accommodation that they occupy under a supported living agreement, and our responsibility is to provide them with the support that they need to live as independently as possible in their own homes.

We also recognises that some people we are supporting could require continuous care during the day and night care, which means that care staff supporting them will always need access to their accommodation.

We will always do this in ways that both respect people’s rights for privacy and dignity and maintain accessibility to their premises in order to ensure their safety and wellbeing in line with the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, particularly Regulations:

Procedures

  1. During the initial assessment, when care is being planned, access to the person’s home should be discussed and an agreement reached about how care workers will enter the accommodation of the person receiving care in line with their care and support plan.
  2. The agreement reached should be entered in the person’s care contract and plan, which will include the type and amount of support they need to achieve their personal goals.
  3. {{org_field_name}} will always obtain the consent of the person to the access arrangements decided.
  4. Decisions about access will always be made in a transparent way with the full involvement of the person receiving care and those involved in their care arrangements.
  5. If the person cannot give their consent because of mental incapacity a decision on the arrangements needed will be taken in line with Mental Capacity Act 2005 best interests procedures or any Court of Protection authorisation.
  6. {{org_field_name}} will also seek the person’s consent as described above if it is decided that the person’s support workers should gain direct access using a duplicate or master key or by electronic means to the person’s accommodation.
  7. {{org_field_name}} expects its care workers to always respect the person receiving care’s privacy and dignity by preparing them for their arrival, which could be by knocking, texting or another agreed method. This includes where the care worker has direct access with a key or code.
  8. {{org_field_name}} will also ensure that the person receiving care knows the identity of the care worker or care workers seeking access in advance.
  9. Where appropriate, care and support workers should always carry an identification badge and be prepared show it to the person receiving care on entry.
  10. {{org_field_name}} will always encourage the users of its service to adopt safe home security practices, including using door safety chains, even when they know that it is their support worker at the door, and request identification.
  11. {{org_field_name}} will instruct its staff to never agree to leave a key outside a house, in a safe place or on string by the letterbox or to attempt to effect forced entry to the person’s receiving’s care accommodation.
  12. Staff who hold keys for gaining access to anyone’s accommodation should:
    a. label the key with a code, never with the name and address of the person, in case they lose the key
    b. be careful that they always keep keys in a safe place at all times
    c. inform their line manager immediately in cases of the loss or theft of keys.

Protocols for Entering Homes of People Receiving Care

Care workers should:

  1. ensure that people receiving care know when to expect their care workers, including when there are changeovers
  2. always announce their presence before entry, even if they hold a key and can let themselves in or are replacing other care workers
  3. where required, show their identification badge on entry particularly (if not previously known)
  4. offer to check that windows and doors are secure before leaving the accommodation if the person is being left on their own
  5. always check that the door is secure as they leave and that the person feels safe.

Use of Identity Cards (As Appropriate)

Identity cards should be provided for all care and support staff entering the accommodation of a person receiving care. The cards should:

  1. display a photograph of the member of staff
  2. display the name of the person and care service in large print
  3. display the contact number of {{org_field_name}}
  4. display a date of issue and an expiry date, which should not exceed 36 months from the date of issue
  5. be available in large print for people with visual disabilities (or recognisable symbols)
  6. be laminated
  7. be renewed and replaced within at least 36 months from the date of issue
  8. be returned to {{org_field_name}} when a care worker leaves.

Emergency Procedures in the Event of Inability to Gain Access

The following procedures (which would mainly apply to dispersed situations and where it is not 24-hour care) should be followed in cases where the care worker attends premises but cannot get in because of lack of means of access, or receive an answer from the person receiving care.

  1. The care worker should check that they would normally be expected.
  2. The care worker should then knock or ring several times and try to raise the service user by calling through the letterbox.
  3. If there is still no answer, the care worker should try phoning the person, make enquiries from neighbours, phone relatives or get the scheme office to do so.
  4. If the problem is not resolved by phone, the care worker should report the situation to their line manager or supervisor, who will continue to attempt to contact the person and/or their relatives/where appropriate the local authority adult social care.
  5. If there is cause for concern as to the person’s wellbeing or there are assessed risks to the person’s safety, the care worker should report this to the scheme office and their line manager and/or supervisor, and the police should be contacted, either by the scheme office or by the care worker.
  6. On no account should the care worker attempt to effect forced entry to the person’s accommodation. In the case of an emergency, they should always contact the police or an ambulance and wait for them.

Related Policies

The policy should be used in relation to the agency’s policies on:

Training

All staff should understand this policy and know how to follow access, keyholding and security procedures. Security training is included in the induction training for all new staff. In-house training sessions on access and security are conducted at least annually and all relevant staff attend.


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

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

Copyright ©2024 {{org_field_name}}. All rights reserved

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