Publication - Advice and guidance

National Care Standards: Care at Home

Published: 16 May 2011
Part of:
Health and social care

National Care Standards - Care at Home Edition

48 page PDF

1.3 MB

48 page PDF

1.3 MB

National Care Standards: Care at Home
5-11 Using the service

48 page PDF

1.3 MB

5-11 Using the service

5 Lifestyle
6 Eating well
7 Keeping well - healthcare
8 Keeping well - medication
9 Private life
10 Supporting communication
11 Expressing your views

Introduction to standards 5 to 11

The care at home service can touch on all aspects of your daily life in your own home. You and any other people living in your home should feel comfortable and at ease with the home care workers. You should feel confident that they are providing your care service as set out in your written agreement and personal plan. You will be able to express your views about how well or not the service is being provided.


You do not have to alter your values and beliefs or routines in order to receive a service. The principle of valuing diversity means that you are accepted and valued for who you are. The standards in this section make it clear that the service will support you to continue to live your life in keeping with your own social, cultural or religious beliefs or faith.

Eating well

Good, nutritious food and drink are important in keeping and improving your health. Individual choices of food and drink vary, as do dietary needs. Having your own needs and choices met is an important part of the quality of day-to-day life.

Keeping well

Keeping healthy or regaining your health are important to your wellbeing and quality of life and to maintaining your independence. You have a right to have your health needs met and to have support in using the full range of healthcare services. You also have a right to have your medication arranged efficiently and safely.

Supporting communication

People may use different languages or methods of communication for a variety of reasons. As a result, they may have difficulty in making themselves understood. But being able to communicate is an essential part of playing an active part in daily life and you should be able to get help to do so if you need it.

Expressing your views

These standards relate to the way you can comment on the quality of services you receive. The provider must take your comments, concerns and complaints seriously. They are your way of contributing to, and influencing how, the service is run.

Lifestyle - social, cultural and religious belief or faith

Standard 5

Your social, cultural and religious belief or faith are respected.
You are able to live your life in keeping with these beliefs.

1 Your home care worker is properly informed about any implications for you and others of your social, cultural and religious beliefs or faith.

2 Your home care worker supports you so that you can practise your beliefs, including keeping in touch with your faith community.

3 Your holy days and festivals are recognised and your home care worker will support you so that you can mark and celebrate these if you choose.

4 Your domestic routines are respected.

Eating well

Standard 6

If shopping for food or preparing meals is part of the service, you know that the food will be handled safely and meals will reflect your choices and special dietary needs (if any).

1 Your home care worker gets to know your food choices and any ethnic, cultural, faith or other preferences you have. Any special diet (for example, vegetarian, low-fat or high-protein) is recorded in your personal plan.

2 Unless you ask for it to be otherwise, the food that is bought and prepared for you will reflect your known choices and preferences and any special dietary needs.

3 All food handling follows good food hygiene practices. Your meals are well prepared and well presented.

4 You must be able to eat and enjoy your food. If you need any help to do so, for example, adapted cutlery or crockery or a liquidised diet, your home care worker will arrange this for you.

5 You can expect your home care worker to notice anything that affects your ability to eat or drink, such as dental health or loss of appetite. If so, she or he will discuss these with you and help you to get professional help if you want.

Keeping well - healthcare

Standard 7

You are confident that the service will get in touch with the healthcare services if you need them to.

1 The management and your home care worker know contact details for your GP and, if appropriate, your hospital doctor and record these in your personal plan.

2 You know that the home care worker providing your care has the appropriate skills for the personal care and nursing tasks needed to maintain your health.

3 You know that the staff member providing your care will look out for any changes in your health. If they notice any, they will discuss these with you and, if you want and need help to do so, they will contact your GP or other member of the primary care team.

4 If your health suddenly gets worse during a visit by your care worker, you can be assured that they will, if necessary, contact the emergency services and also tell your GP.

If your service is specifically designed to meet a healthcare need:

5 The provider will get details of your healthcare needs from you or your doctor (or both). The details are recorded in your personal plan and your home care worker knows them.

6 The provider will have arrangements in place to meet your healthcare needs in the best way for you. With your agreement, the provider will monitor your healthcare needs and, if there are concerns, will seek advice from your doctor or other member of the healthcare team.

Keeping well - medication (where help with taking medication is provided as part of the service)

Standard 8

If your service includes help with taking your medication, the provider has arrangements in place for this to be done safely and in the way that suits you best.

1 You know that the service provider will find out and record details of your medication (type and dosage) in your personal plan. Your home care worker will know these details and maintain a record in your home.

2 The arrangements made to help you with taking your medication are planned and made with your agreement.

3 You are confident that the service provider has policies and procedures to make sure that best practice guidance is followed and records kept when your home care worker helps you to take your medication.

Private life

Standard 9

Your rights to privacy are respected.

1 Your personal plan will refer to your right to privacy.

2 You will be called by your preferred title or name.

3 You know that your home care worker will respect you and everyone in the household, your home and everything in it and your domestic routines.

4 Your home care worker will only go into parts of your home where she or he has been given permission to do so.

5 You will only be asked for information about yourself which is essential to the delivery of the service.

6 Your home care worker will always respect your right to privacy and dignity when providing any personal care.

7 Your home care worker will respect your right to confidentiality. She or he will only take part in personal meetings and conversations when it is necessary or when you have agreed to this.

Supporting communication

Standard 10

You have help to use services and equipment for communication, if your first language is not English or if you have any other communication needs.

1 Your communication needs are recorded in your personal plan.

2 Your home care provider can help you get and use specialist communication support (including interpreters) and equipment if you need it.

3 Your home care worker will know about your communication needs and if necessary will have the training and skills to meet your needs.

Expressing your views

Standard 11

You or your carer are encouraged to express your views on any aspects of the care service at any time.

1 You can freely discuss any concerns you have with your home care worker, other staff or management of the service.

2 You know how to make a complaint or comment to the service. You are also aware of the procedure for making formal complaints directly to the Care Commission.

3 The service deals with concerns and complaints quickly and sympathetically, and provides full information about what will happen as a result of the complaint.

4 You are encouraged and supported to use an independent representative or independent advocate where you want. The provider will have information about any service that would help you in this way.

5 If you have an independent representative (for example, an independent advocate), the provider and your home care worker will listen to what he or she has to say on your behalf, as if you were expressing the views yourself.

6 If you belong to an advocacy group, the provider and your home care worker will take seriously any suggestions or proposals coming from the group.

7 You or your carer can play a part in the Care Commission's inspection of the service if you want to.

8 The provider will make available a copy of each inspection report about the service so that you and your representative can look through it in your own time.