National Care Standards: Care homes for people with learning disabilities

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

Annex A : Glossary

Advocate or Advocacy
Someone who helps you to say what you need and to make your own decisions, and who acts as your representative.
A person who supports or looks after family, partners or friends who need help because they are ill, frail or have a disability. The care they provide is unpaid.
Circle of support
A group of friends who support you.
Citizen advocate
An unpaid volunteer who is independent of the services that you receive. This advocate represents your needs and supports you to make sure you get your rights.
Complaints process
Clear procedures that help you or others using the service to complain about any aspect of the service.
Communication passport
A communication passport is a folder of information about things like what you want to be called, food preferences and so on. You must take it wherever you go. Sometimes this can be in the form of a tape.
Information presented in a layout that is suitable for you. This could be in easy-read language, Braille, on tape or on disk.
Infection control
Programmes of disease surveillance, generally within healthcare facilities designed to investigate, prevent and control the spread of infection and the micro-organisms which cause them.
Informed choice
Where a person is told about the nature, purpose and likely effects of any actions before they make a decision.
Action that will benefit the person who is receiving a service.
Key worker
The person (who may be a nurse for people receiving nursing care) who is responsible for co-ordinating your personal plan, monitoring its progress and staying in regular contact with you and everyone involved.
Laws passed by Parliament.
Named worker
see Key worker
Nursing and Midwifery Council. This organisation was set up by Parliament to ensure nurses, midwives and health visitors provide high standards of care to their patients and clients. To achieve this, the NMC maintains a register of qualified nurses, midwives and health visitors, sets standards for education, practice and conduct, provides advice for nurses, midwives and health visitors and considers allegations of misconduct or unfitness to practise. Website:
Personal assistant
The personal assistant (or PA for short) is a worker who provides support with day-to-day activities such as dressing, bathing, eating and getting around - in other words, the kind of basic tasks which you may need help with to live an active life. You employ him or her so you decide how and when you need help.
Personal care
Help with the day-to-day physical tasks and your needs, including helping you to remember to do things such as eating and washing.
Personal plan
A plan of how the support and care service will be provided, agreed between you (and your representative) and the service provider.
A statement of what will happen in a given situation.
Primary care team
GPs and other health professionals who provide healthcare in the community.
The steps taken to fulfil a policy.
The owner or manager of a care home or service.
A person acting on your behalf who may be an independent citizen advocate, friend or relative.
Control to prevent a person from harming themselves or other people by using:

  • physical means (actual or threatened laying on of hands on a person to stop them carrying out a particular action);
  • mechanical means (for example, wrapping someone in a sleeping bag or strapping them in a chair);
  • environmental means (for example, using cot sides to prevent someone from getting out of bed); or
  • medication (using sedative or tranquillising drugs for the symptomatic treatment of restless or agitated behaviour).

Risk management
A systematic approach to the management of risk, to reduce loss of life, financial loss, loss of staff availability, safety, or loss of reputation.
A long-term plan.
Usable floor space
Space which is available to use for furniture, personal belongings and daily living.
The disclosure by an employee (or professional) of confidential information which relates to some danger, fraud or other illegal or unethical conduct connected with the workplace, be it of the employer or of his fellow employees (Lord Barrie QC 1995).

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