National Care Standards: Care Homes for People with Mental Health Problems

National Care Standards: Care Homes for People with Mental Health Problems Edition

Annex A Glossary

Advocate or Advocacy

A person independent of any aspect of the service or of any of the statutory agencies involved in purchasing or providing the service, who acts on behalf of, and in the interests of the person using the service who feels unable to represent herself or himself when dealing with professionals. An advocate can be helpful if a person feels unable to represent him or herself.


The process of deciding what a person needs in relation to their health, personal and social care, and what services must be put in place to meet these needs. An assessment is undertaken with the person, his or her relatives or representatives, and relevant professionals.

Care home service

A service which provides accommodation, together with nursing, personal care or personal support for vulnerable people.


A person who looks after family, partners or friends in need of help because they are ill, frail or have a disability. The care they provide is unpaid.

Complaints process

Clear procedures that help the person using the service or others to comment or complain about any aspect of the service.


You can expect to have 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 infections and the micro-organisms which cause them.

Key worker

The person (who may be a designated nurse for people receiving nursing care) responsible for co-ordinating the individual's personal plan, for monitoring its progress and for staying in regular contact with the individual and everyone involved.

Named worker

see Key worker

Personal care

Help with day-to-day physical tasks and needs of the person cared for, including helping them to remember to do things such as eating and washing.

Personal plan

A plan of how the support and care service will be provided, primarily agreed between the person using the service (and/or their representative) and the service provider.

Primary care team

GP and other health professionals who provide healthcare in the community.


A person acting on behalf of a person using the service, who may be a relative or friend.


Control to prevent a person from harming themselves or other people by the use of:

  • 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 tranquilising 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.

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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