National care standards support services

National care standards support services Edition

7-12 Using the support service

7 Using the support service
8 Making choices
9 Supporting communication
10 Feeling safe and secure
11 Exercising your rights
12 Expressing your views

Using the support service

Introduction to standards 7 to 12

People take time to settle into a new environment. You can expect the manager and staff to be sensitive to your feelings and worries during this period. They will respect the fact that you have choices about how your personal plan will be put into practice and how your support and care needs may change.

Choices and 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 taking part in daily life and you should be able to choose to get help to do so. You have the right to make decisions about your life, helped and supported by the support service.

Feeling safe and secure

You have the right to feel safe and secure when using the support service. 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 wellbeing of staff and other people who use support services.

Exercising your rights - expressing your views

The support service staff must always respect and promote your rights. They must make sure that you can express your views about the quality of the service and your experience of it, and take your comments, concerns and complaints seriously. They are your way of contributing to and influencing how the services are delivered.

Using the support service

Standard 7
When you first start to use the support service, you are welcomed and encouraged by staff who are expecting you and have made arrangements to introduce you to the support service.

1 You have a named member of staff who will co-ordinate arrangements to provide for your needs, as set out in your personal plan.

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

3 You can reconsider your decision to use the support service and can speak to the staff or your representative, who will discuss the choices that are available to you.

Making choices

Standard 8
You can make choices in all areas of your personal and social life.

1 You have the help of skilled staff in achieving the goals that are set out in your personal plan.

2 You have control over reviews and other meetings about your welfare. You have support to do this if you want it.

3 You have access to advice to understand all the information you receive, as well as the effect of each available choice.

4 You can choose the activities you wish to be involved in, with support from the staff if you need it.

5 You have time to consider your choices without pressure.

6 You can come and go as you please as long as there are arrangements for your safety and wellbeing, in line with your personal plan.

7 If you want, you have access to trained, independent representatives to help you make choices.

8 You can be assisted by staff to get expert advice on welfare rights to help you increase the resources available to you and which you need to help you carry out your choices.

9 If you employ your own personal assistant, that person will continue to do the tasks you want them to while you are receiving the support service.

10 You can take part in managing the support service with staff. This may include contributing to:

  • the daily running of the support service;
  • recruiting and selecting staff;
  • choosing supplies and suppliers;
  • planning activities;
  • monitoring the quality of care; and
  • developing plans for the support service.

11 You can be confident that the manager and staff will tell you if there is anything about managing the service that you cannot take part in and discuss the reasons with you.

Supporting communication

Standard 9
You have help to use services, aids and equipment for communication if your first language is not English or if you have any other communication needs.

1 Your communication needs are regularly assessed and reviewed and you will always have communication support if you need it.

2 You can be confident that staff can help you to use specialist equipment.

3 You are supported by your named worker or trained communication support workers, including trained interpreters.

4 You can be confident that staff will ask people who know about your communication needs to give them advice and information about these, especially when you are being introduced to a new setting.

5 You can communicate at the speed and in the style you want to.

6 You can prepare for important events and have time to communicate your feelings, views and answers.

Feeling safe and secure

Standard 10
You take responsibility for your own actions, secure in the knowledge that the support service 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 and wellbeing of the staff and other people using the support service.

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

3 You can discuss risks with staff. You receive guidance and support to use the support service safely, for example, while cooking or using equipment such as garden tools.

4 You can be confident that staff record and investigate any accidents or incidents, including any episodes of restraint, telling relatives, carers or other representatives if you want them to.

5 You can be confident that the support service is free from bullying, harassment, and any other form of abuse.

6 You can be confident that staff will not use restraint for your own or other people's safety unless it is permitted by law and even then restraint will not be used until other interventions have failed (unless it is legally required).

7 If your behaviour makes it difficult for you to benefit from the support service, there will be specialist support to understand and, if possible, to help you change your behaviour.

Exercising your rights

Standard 11
You keep your rights as an individual.

1 You can be confident that staff will call you by your preferred name or title, treat you politely at all times and always respect your individuality.

2 If you need help, your request will be dealt with as soon as possible.

3 You can see for yourself that records are kept confidential and access to them will only be permitted in controlled circumstances.

4 You will be told why any information cannot be kept confidential and who has the right to look at it.

5 You can be sure that your confidential records are held securely.

6 You have the right to receive a copy of any information held about you in the provider's files, provided that this does not breach third party or legislative guidelines.

7 You will have your rights and responsibilities within the support service explained to you in a way that you understand.

Expressing your views

Standard 12
You are encouraged and helped to make your views known on any aspects of the support service.

1 You can freely discuss any concerns you have with your named worker or any member of the support service management.

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

3 You can be confident that the support service provider deals with concerns and complaints quickly and sympathetically, and provides full information about what will happen as a result of the complaint.

4 If you have an independent representative, staff will listen to what she or he has to say on your behalf, as if you were expressing the views yourself.

5 If you belong to an advocacy group, staff will take seriously suggestions or proposals that come from the group.

6 You can play a part in the Care Commission's inspection of your support service. The support service provider will make available a copy of each inspection report about the support service so that you and your representative can look through it.

7 You are supported and represented if there is a conflict with another individual, including staff members or volunteers.

8 You have the opportunity to take part in meetings about how the support service is run and how it might be changed and improved.

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