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Short Breaks and Respite Care in Care Homes (England) Policy

Policy Statement

This policy describes {{org_field_name}}’s approach to short-term (or respite) breaks in line with its registration conditions to ensure that it always provides a high quality, safe and appropriate service and balances the assessed needs of both the person cared for and their regular carers.

It makes its provision for short -term and respite care users in line with its registration conditions and the requirements for safe, person-centred care made in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, and where applicable with reference to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and deprivation of liberty safeguarding needs.

Carers — that is the partners, sons and daughters, and other relatives and friends who care for a person with a long-term illness or disability — can easily become overstressed with serious implications for their own health and capacity to cope. This is recognised by the Care Act 2014.

The breakdown of a carer is a double crisis, for themselves, but also for the person for whom they are providing care, so it is both humane and cost effective for services to be provided to support carers in the task they have taken on.

Such support may include relieving them of their caring responsibilities for short periods, so that they can regain the energy and motivation to carry on.

This practice has often been referred to as “respite care”, but “short break” or “short-term care” are alternative terms. Care homes are often well placed to provide such short-term care.

In line with the above, {{org_field_name}} will provide short-term (or respite) breaks for people assessed as able to benefit from such a service, most of whom will be referred by local authorities under the Care Act 2014 provisions.

Policy on Short-term and Respite Breaks

  1. The home will offer short-term care for people with a need for support which is generally being met in a domiciliary setting for durations agreed as appropriate.
  2. We will aim to ensure that the provision of a short-term break gives carers who are family members or friends a period of respite from their caring duties and the opportunity to regain their full health, energy and motivation.
  3. We will try to make the period of residence in the home a positive experience for the short-term resident so that they do not experience it as simple relief for the carer from the burden of caring for them.
  4. Arrangements for a short-term break will always be incorporated into, and compatible with, a broader care plan for the person using the services.
  5. We will work with other relevant agencies to make full use of the assessments carried out in relation to the needs of both carers and short-term residents.
  6. We will make available to each short-term resident all necessary services within the home and in the wider community to make their stay a positive and fulfilling experience.
  7. We will take care to make the transition from a domiciliary setting to the home and back at the end of the short-term break as comfortable and safe as possible and will cooperate fully in this process with both carers and all other relevant organisations.
  8. Where appropriate we will programme a sequence of short-term stays over a period and at intervals to be determined in discussion with the resident and the carer.
  9. Care will be taken to ensure that the home has all the information and documentation necessary to the resident’s support and safety in advance of the short break, and that any material accumulated during the period of residence which is relevant to the resident’s future care is passed both to the carer and to other relevant organisations.
  10. For each arrangement for a short-term stay, or for a series of short-term stays, the resident and carer will be given a contract or statement of terms and conditions, produced in line with consumer law, making clear the rights and responsibilities of all parties.
  11. Arrangements for the payment of fees by, or on behalf of, the resident will be agreed in advance of a short-term stay.
  12. The presence of residents on short breaks in the home must not intrude negatively on the comfort and welfare of longer term residents, and every attempt will be made to integrate short-term residents into the regular life and community of the home.


All staff are trained in the different needs of people admitted to the home for short-term care compared with those of permanent residents.

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

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

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