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Involvement of Relatives and Friends in the Care of People Living in Care Homes (Scotland) Policy

Policy Statement

This policy sets out the values, principles and procedures underpinning {{org_field_name}}’s approach to enabling its residents to maintain contact with their relatives and friends. It is written in line with the national health and social care standards set out in My Support, My Life, particularly statements made under Standard 2: “I am fully involved in all decisions about my care and support”. They include:

It also helps answer key question 5: “How well is our care and support planned?” of the Quality Framework for Care Homes for Older People, particularly 5.2: “Families and carers are involved”.

{{org_field_name}} considers that each person receiving care should be able, in ways and at a level they themselves decide, to maintain relationships with relatives and friends, that relatives and friends should be consulted and involved in any aspect of the assessment and care of a person using the service as they wish, and that relatives and friends should be supported in every way possible in their contacts with them.

We see relatives and friends as partners in caring for people receiving our care and value and seek to encourage their involvement in the life and work of the home. We undertake always to deal courteously with the relatives and friends of the people living in our home.

Procedures

Working in partnership to assess needs

  1. The home, as requested by or with the permission of the person receiving care, will involve named relatives and friends in all appropriate areas of a person’s assessment and care.
  2. Staff of the home will only communicate matters concerning a person’s care and treatment with a relative or friend of a person receiving care with the person’s consent or as requested by the person. They will always respect the right of a person receiving care to keep their affairs private in the conversations they have with a person’s relatives and friends.
  3. Before admission to the home, we will provide as full information as possible on the home’s services and facilities to any friend or relative whom the prospective resident identifies to us, with written material in a relevant language, style and format.
  4. In carrying out the needs assessment of a prospective resident, we will with their permission:
    a. consult any appropriate relative or friend
    b. take fully into account any information they supply about the person and about their relationship to them
    c. respect their privacy and other rights
    d. be especially sensitive in situations where it is necessary for us to visit a prospective resident in a property where a relative or friend also lives.
  5. If it is appropriate and with the consent of the prospective resident, we will, when carrying out a needs assessment, seek and consider information from carers or of any friend or relative of the person.
  6. We will be responsive to information provided by relatives and friends during any further assessment or re-assessment carried out during a person’s period of residence in the home.
  7. We will be sensitive to the relatives and friends of people receiving care who come from minority communities and cultures, ensuring that our staff are familiar with and respect practices relating to families, kinship and social relationships.
  8. The home will involve appropriate relatives and friends in drawing up, reviewing and implementing the personal plan of the person receiving care to whom they are related or connected.

Involving relatives and friends in care and support

  1. The home will involve as appropriate relatives and friends in drawing up, reviewing and implementing a person’s care and support plan.
  2. We will involve appropriate relatives and friends in all aspects of the day-to-day care of the resident when this is what they and the person wishes.
  3. We will assess any risks to the resident because of their relatives and friends planned involvement and where necessary agree how any identified risks might be managed.
  4. Their activities will be recorded on the individual care plan and regularly reviewed with them and the person receiving care.
  5. Where it is agreed that the relatives or others will help with personal care, which is a regulated activity, the home will expect the care givers to comply with the home’s standards and procedures in relation to, eg moving and transferring, and other health and safety requirements. If necessary, the home will provide instruction training and support to the relatives and others so that they can always provide safe and effective care.
  6. In some circumstances the home might seek a written agreement with the voluntary carers to ensure that the latter provide safe care to the standards expected by and of the home. This is most likely to be needed where people receiving care might lack mental capacity to express their views about the care and treatment provided by their informal carers.
  7. The home will intervene if it thinks that the terms of the agreement are being broken and the person’s wellbeing is being adversely affected.
  8. The home will invoke its safeguarding procedures if it has grounds to think that the person receiving care is being harmed or is at risk of harm from their informal carers.
  9. If it is apparent or suspected that a person receiving care is suffering any form of abuse from a relative or friend, we will take all necessary steps to protect the person by making enquiries, reporting our concerns to the relevant safeguarding authority and collaborating with it in any subsequent investigation and action.

Supporting contacts and communication

  1. We will record the names and contact details of relatives and friends with whom the person receiving care wishes us to communicate and establish with them and with the person receiving care the circumstances in which they are to be contacted about any significant development.
  2. We will take all possible steps to encourage and facilitate contact between the person receiving care and their relatives and friends by, eg:
    a. helping in arrangements if a person receiving care wishes and is able to travel to a visit
    b. welcoming visitors to the home
    c. ensuring that people receiving care are able to see visitors in private if they wish
    d. providing light refreshments and meals
    e. overnight accommodation when possible.
  3. The home does not place any restrictions on contact between a person receiving care and their relatives and friends except at the request of the person.
  4. If a person receiving care expresses a wish to cease to have no further contact with a relative or friend, we will support them in carrying out that decision.

Involving relatives and friends in end-of-life care

  1. The home will be particularly responsive to the need to involve relatives and friends at times of the increasing infirmity, terminal illness or death of a person receiving care.
  2. It will show sensitivity to any special requests, rituals, cultural practices or required methods of care associated with dying and death and will try to respond to the needs of relatives and friends after the death of a loved one.

Additional considerations

  1. The relatives and friends of a person receiving care who has been approved by them to be involved in their care can have access to that person’s record on a “need to know basis” (with the person’s consent and subject to confidentiality principles) if they require it.
  2. We will encourage, enable and empower relatives, friends and carers to make complaints and suggestions about the service and ensure that these are promptly investigated and where appropriate acted on.
  3. We will systematically seek the views of relatives and friends on the services the home provides and incorporate this material into our quality assurance procedures.
  4. We will encourage and assist the formation of groups of relatives and friends both locally and nationally as an aide to expressing views in ways that can lead to improvements in our services.
  5. We will respect the right of a person receiving care at any stage to appoint a representative to deal with the home on their behalf, and we recognise that this may be someone other than the relatives and friends with whom we had previously had contact.

We will provide information to people receiving care, relatives and friends about independent advocates who can act on their behalf and about self-advocacy schemes.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, {{org_field_name}} recognised the key roles that a named care giver played in ensuring a resident’s welfare and in helping to mitigate the effects of the restrictions that were in place. It accordingly continues to enable and support any named care giver to have access to the home and the resident whom they are attending in line with the person’s needs.

Training

All staff receive relevant training to support their work and relationships with relatives and friends.


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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