National Care Standards: Care homes for people with learning disabilities

National Care Standards: Care homes for people with learning disabilities Edition

Settling in

7 Moving in
8 Making choices
9 Feeling safe and secure
10 Exercising your rights
11 Expressing your views

Introduction to standards 7 to 11

Moving in

People take time to settle into a new home, particularly if the move is going to be long term. You can expect that the manager and staff will be sensitive to your feelings and worries during this period. They will respect your right to make choices about how your accommodation is provided, and how your support and care needs are met.

You may be moving from a hospital to a community house, or from your family home to independent or supported living. Your family are also likely to need support because any change will affect them as well as you.

You may also need support to move from being a child using residential services for children to becoming an adult using residential services for adults. Staff in your new home have an important contribution to make in supporting your family during and after the move.

When you move, you can expect that you, your family members and others will be involved in all stages of planning related to the move.

Making choices - feeling safe and secure

You have the right to make decisions about your life and care in the home. For a few people, however, individual circumstances will limit this opportunity. If you lack the capacity to make a decision, you will come under the provisions of The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. Where relevant, you may be safeguarded by the provisions of The Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984. You also have the right to choose the risks you want to take, as long as there is a sensible balance between your individual needs and preferences, and the safety of staff and other people living there.

Exercising your rights - expressing your views

The staff and manager must always respect and actively promote your rights. You keep your rights and you must also respect other people's rights. The care home must take your comments, concerns and complaints about the quality of the service and your experience of it seriously. They are your way of contributing to and influencing how the home is run and how the services are delivered.

You have the right to speak for yourself and people may only speak on your behalf with your agreement. This includes your relatives and friends, volunteers, service providers and social work and health professionals. Everyone may have an opinion, but only you really know what you want and the views of others should never be represented as your own.

Sometimes, people need help in making informed choices or in expressing their views. You may wish to appoint an advocate to help you do this.

An advocate can be informal - for instance a relative or a friend - or can belong to a formal service provided by an advocacy organisation. Either way, it is important that everyone involved understands when someone is speaking on your behalf or whether they are expressing a personal or a professional view.

Moving in

Standard 7

When you first move in, you are welcomed and encouraged by staff who are expecting you and who have made arrangements to introduce you to the other people living there.

1 You have a named member of staff (key worker), who will draw up your personal plan with you, check its progress and stay in regular contact with you and everyone involved in providing your support and care.

2 You can discuss your needs at all reasonable times with your key worker.

3 If you are not certain about whether you are making the right move, you can speak to the staff or your representative who will discuss with you the choices that are available to you.

Making choices

Standard 8

You have the right to make decisions and choices about your life, and the support and care you receive.

1 You achieve the aims set out in your personal plan, helped by the support and care of skilled staff.

2 You have information about the choices that are available to you while you live in the home, and the effect they will have on you. If you want, you can ask for an independent representative or for specialist advice.

3 You have time to think about your choices without having to decide straightaway.

4 Unless there are legal reasons for you not to do so, you can carry out your own financial, legal and other personal business at a time that suits you. You can decide who should know about and have access to your personal business.

5 You can keep and control your money and your personal belongings, unless your individual circumstances mean that specific legal arrangements have been made to look after them for you.

6 You have as much control as you want over reviews and other meetings.

7 You can employ your own worker or personal assistant as well as using staff who are employed in the home.

8 You are helped by staff to get information on your financial rights, your benefits and allowances, and the management of your own money. You have the chance to spend your money in a way that lets you do the things you want.

9 You can expect that there are proper financial systems in place to administer your financial affairs where you are unable to do so (in accordance with The Adults with Incapacity Scotland Act 2000).

10 If you want to be involved in planning and buying household shopping, you can be supported to do this.

11 You can expect to be involved in collecting any weekly benefits you receive and putting your money in the bank with whatever support you need.

12 You can expect to choose clothes and personal items, to be involved in buying them and to be supported as necessary.

Feeling safe and secure

Standard 9

You are allowed to take responsibility for your own actions, secure in the knowledge that the home has proper systems in place to protect your interests.

1 A sensible balance is offered to you in everyday events and activities, between the reasonable risks you want to take and the safety of the staff and other residents. This results from the home's individual risk assessment approach.

2 You are fully involved in your own risk assessment, as are any other people you may want to be involved, such as a family member or representative. You receive a copy of your risk assessment report.

3 You can discuss risks with staff. You receive guidance and support to live safely in your home and to take part in all the activities it offers. If there are any particular risks associated with these activities, staff will make sure you are given additional information and support.

4 You can contact someone quickly and easily when you need help or in an emergency, using a reliable and efficient alarm system.

5 You are reassured about your safety from intruders by knowing that the home has a system where all visitors need permission before they can come in.

6 Staff record and investigate any accidents or incidents, including any episodes of restraint, telling relatives, carers or other representatives if you want them to.

7 You are confident that you are living in an environment that is free from bullying, harassment and any other form of abuse.

8 You are confident that staff will not use restraint at all unless it is permitted by law and even then restraint will not be used until other interventions have failed (unless it is legally required).

Exercising your rights

Standard 10

You keep your rights as an individual.

1 You are confident that staff will treat you politely at all times and always respect your individuality.

2 Staff call you by your preferred name or title at all times.

3 If you need help, your request will be dealt with politely and as soon as possible.

4 Confidential information about you is only shared with others if you give permission, unless the law requires otherwise.

5 If any information cannot be kept confidential you will be told why not and who has the right to see it.

6 You can see for yourself that your records are kept confidential and that access to them is only allowed in controlled circumstances.

7 You know that any allegation of discrimination is properly investigated.

8 You are helped to understand your rights and responsibilities in relation to equal opportunities.

9 You are supported in keeping your civil rights (for example, in voting at elections).

10 If your behaviour challenges the service you receive, you receive good professional support to understand and, if possible, change your behaviour.

11 If your challenging behaviour is caused by the way the service is run staff will change their service arrangements to help you reduce the behaviour.

12 If physical restraint is needed to protect yourself or others at any time, this will be used as a last resort, as gently as is possible, and only in accordance with written guidelines.

13 When staff cannot support you, you receive specialist support from outwith the care home to help with your behaviour.

14 If you choose to stay in your care home regardless of your challenging behaviour, staff will continue to offer you support and care. They will help you decide if this is the best decision for you and make sure you understand about the rights of other people living in the care home. Sometimes legal requirements may demand that you move to a place of safety without your agreement.

15 You are treated with respect and keep your dignity in all activities, including personal care, healthcare, social activities and community life. Wherever possible and practical you or your representative will be able to choose if a male or female member of staff carries out personal care tasks.

16 You are treated as an adult, with your needs as you grow older being taken into account.

17 You can choose how you look and how you dress. Where necessary, staff can sensitively guide you in the way that is set out in your personal plan.

Expressing your views

Standard 11

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

1 You can freely discuss any concerns you have with your key worker, other residents or any member of the care home's management.

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

3 The home 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 supported and represented if you have a disagreement with another individual, including a member of staff. If you wish to have other people to help you express your views, staff will have information about any independent and confidential advocacy service that can help you in this way and will encourage and support you to use it.

5 If you have a representative, staff 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, staff will take seriously any suggestions or proposals that come from the group.

7 You can play a part in the Care Commission's inspection of your service. The purpose of the inspection is explained to you and you are free to tell the Care Commission what you like and dislike about where you live.

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

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