E: support@e-carehub.co.uk

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Personal and Sexual Relationships Policy

Policy Statement

The policy reflects the values and principles of respecting diversity, equality, human rights and non-discrimination in line with current legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010. No person is excluded from the policy on the grounds of any gender or transgender, disability or sexual orientation.

The policy is in line with the requirements of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 and Care Quality Commission guidance on relationships and sexuality (2019).

Service users have the right — often denied to older people and people with disabilities — to develop and maintain intimate personal and sexual relationships and to engage in sexual activity that is within the law and does not cause significant offence to others.

The presence of care staff in the homes of service users and their performing intimate care tasks may threaten the privacy on which this right depends. It also believes that its care practice should support the operation of rights associated with sexuality, and that where appropriate information and guidance should be available if needed to help service users remain safe and healthy, enjoy pleasurable experiences and take appropriate decisions for themselves in this area of their lives.

The policy assumes that people are able to form relationships on the basis of choice and consent. People who lack the mental capacity to take such decisions freely may need to receive guidance in line with best interest assessments and decisions. Anyone who is thought to be vulnerable to sexual exploitation or abuse will be treated in line with {{org_field_name}}’s safeguarding policy and any perpetration of abuse will be similarly addressed.

Implementing the Policy

We aim to ensure the following (though this is not an exhaustive list).

  1. Our staff never forget that they are guests in a service user’s home and that providing a care service should never interfere with service users’ right to have visitors at any time and to entertain their visitors in private.
  2. For a service user who has a marital or sexual partner who resides with them or visits them, our service is provided in ways which respect their wish to be together in private.
  3. Service users are assured that while a worker is in their home there will be no interruption of privacy for any intimate or personal contacts or sexual activity.
  4. Service users are able to decide whom they see and do not see, and if necessary and requested to do so our staff will provide support in these decisions and protection from any personal contacts that are unwelcome or abusive.
  5. Any request for assistance in restricting or forbidding entrance to their home to unwelcome visitors will be recorded and, as far as possible, complied with.
  6. Wherever possible, on occasions when intimate care is given, service users’ wishes as regards the gender of their care workers are respected.
  7. Service users who require access to any necessary advice or guidance to ensure that any sexual activity in which they engage is safe and pleasurable are assisted in this.
  8. Service users’ sexual orientation and preferences are treated with respect, eg gay and lesbian relationships are afforded the same respect to that given heterosexual relationships.
  9. If service users engage in any sexual activity or display that is offensive to a staff member or make a sexual approach to a staff member, the matter is reported to their supervisor who takes prompt and appropriate steps to discuss the matter with the person concerned and to help them contain their behaviour within reasonable limits.
  10. If service users persist in engaging in inappropriate sexual activity or display in the presence of a staff member, the service may be terminated.
  11. Service users are protected from any form of sexual abuse, including sexual exploitation and grooming where there is evidence of this.
  12. Any service user who, because of a disability, requires assistance in fulfilling their sexual aspirations has the opportunity to discuss their needs with staff who, where possible, will arrange for appropriate help to be provided.
  13. Any information about service users’ personal and sexual relationships and activities is treated confidentially and sensitively, such information is passed only to those with a specific need to know.
  14. Service users have opportunities to discuss matters relating to their sexual relationships and activities within the care planning process and always with due regard to the need to treat these issues with confidentiality and sensitivity.
  15. Particular care and sensitivity is exercised if it is necessary to pass information between staff or to make a written record relating to any matter concerning a service user’s intimate relationships or sexual activity.

Service users and their relatives, friends and representatives will be fully informed about the contents of this policy and are provided with appropriate support and guidance if they seek it.

Sexual relationships between staff currently employed by {{org_field_name}} and service users are not allowed. Staff found to be involved will be subject to disciplinary procedures and the situation will be addressed under safeguarding of vulnerable adults from abuse policies and procedures.

Advice

Further advice on matters relating to sexuality is available to service users from GPs and from the following organisations:

[Where appropriate, list or attach contact details for local agencies such as sexually transmitted diseases clinics, marriage guidance, specialist nurses, advocacy services and relevant voluntary organisations.]

Training

All new staff receive training that covers the relevant issues in line with the Care Certificate framework.

All staff are trained to be aware about service users’ sexuality and that their sexuality could be expressed in different ways.


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

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

Next review date: this policy is reviewed annualy (every 12 months). When needed, this policy is also updated in response to changes in legislation, regulation, best practices, or organisational changes.

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