Customer Information Guide




One of the policies and procedures a home care business must have is the Customer Information Guide.

Below is the Customer Information Guide used by Quality Home Care which you are welcome to adapt to suit your own business needs. You can use it as a starting point to develop your own Customer Information Guide.

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CUSTOMER INFORMATION GUIDE

General
We hope that this information, together with the discussions we have about the way your care will be managed, will provide a valuable and satisfactory service. The purpose of this guide is to set out the way we see our professional relationship.

QUALITY HOMECARE
OUR PHILOSOPHY & OVERALL AIM

Quality Homecare is a small organisation and prides itself on a friendly family feel. Our overarching philosophy and aim is to respect and treat customers in the way that we and our own relatives would expect and wish to be treated.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Office hours:

Our offices are open from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday during which time we will be pleased to discuss any aspect of your care. We also have an emergency on-call number should you need to contact us urgently.

Timing of visits:

Care visit times are approximate and may vary up to 30 minutes either side of the normal visit time. If your care worker does not arrive at the expected time please allow at least 30 minutes for traffic hold-ups etc. If he/she has not arrived after that time please telephone us (not only from your own point of view but also so we can check the safety of the care worker).

Cancelling visits:

If you wish to cancel a visit we ask for 48 hours notice. If Social Services are involved in your care package we may need to discuss changes with them as well.

Care plan changes and reviews:

When a care package is first set up the care plan sets out what is to be done. If you wish to change or amend this, please contact the Quality Homecare office. Please do not make amendments with your care worker, who is not authorised to make changes.

All of the above is done to make sure we provide a high standard of service which is acceptable to our customers. If there is anything that you feel we can do to improve our service to you, please get in touch.

We also have a process for regularly reviewing your care plan with you and talking to you about what is working well and what you may wish to change. This happens every six months but can be at any time if the need arises or you would like a review sooner.

OUR QUALITY HOMECARE TEAM LOOKS LIKE THIS:
Who’s who at Quality Homecare?

Within the organisation there is extensive experience in the management and administration of care. They are assisted by a very strong care team which upholds the values of the company in the way they deliver, supervise and co-ordinate the care.
Name of Director:
Michael Hughes
Business Address: 17A Wooton Road,
Centre 4,
Grimsby
North East Lincolnshire
Telephone Number and email: 01472 236683
Name of Care/registered Manager Val Elkatkat
Local Office Address:
Telephone Number and email: mike@qualityhomecare.org.uk
val@qualityhomecare.org.uk

Statement of Purpose

We have a formal ‘Statement of Purpose’ which is available upon request.
Quality Homecare Objectives

In order to achieve our overall aim Quality Homecare has set a number of objectives as well as a Code of Practice. We are very aware that Quality Homecare only succeeds if we provide the services which people want and expect.

We firmly believe that domiciliary care (care at home) offers a realistic opportunity to many people who need care provided for them to remain living at home. Those people who choose to take this option should receive the maximum information and support to enable them to lead their lives safely and in comfort.

In order to do this we must make sure that the people who are delivering the care, the care workers, are fully vetted, trained and supported. They can only do their job if they are working in a professional and well regulated environment.

Our objectives are:

• To ensure that the customer is main focus for all that we do and are central to the processes of care planning, assessment and delivery of care at home.

• To provide a safe, well-planned, reliable care at home service to our Customers and families.

• To provide support in the way Customers prefer and at the times they wish.

• To fully consult, listen to and obtain consent from Customers and/or their representatives (where appropriate) regarding all aspects of their care.

• To maintain and promote the dignity, independence, choice and rights of Customers while providing care at home.

• To respect the Customers’ rights in relation to confidentiality including our communication and conduct, recording practices and storage of information.

• To have in place appropriate systems, policies and procedures to address matters of health and safety and to promote safe working practices in all aspects of service provision.

• To proactively and regularly seek the views of customers as well as significant others (including advocates) regarding our service, in order to pursue continuous improvement.

• To provide Customers (and/or significant others) with the means to make a compliment or complaint regarding the service, including to outside agencies if preferred.

• To safeguard the well being of Customers by having systems in place to prevent the potential for abuse and ensure any concerns raised or identified are robustly addressed and risks are effectively managed.

• To promote matters of equality and diversity in all that we do, and ensure anti-discriminatory practice in all aspects of the service.

• To provide a consistent care at home service to Customers through a dedicated focus towards staff competence, training, recruitment and retention.

• To provide appropriate and accessible information to our Customers and/or significant others regarding the services provided by Quality Homecare including the cost of the service, how and when to pay.

• To work in partnership/cooperate with other agencies and individuals as required/where appropriate, to promote the wellbeing of Customers.

• To act as a good employer for our staff and ensure equality of opportunity for all.





Our Code of Practice

Quality Homecare and all of its employees are also expected to operate within the organisation’s Code of Practice, which is provided to every individual member of staff prior to commencement of employment and as part of the initial induction process.

The Quality Homecare Code of Practice is set out below (and is included in the Staff Handbook for care workers):

• We will provide the agreed service to the very highest standard we can achieve.

• We understand that care provision is about people and that we have a responsibility to make sure that care is delivered with the minimum fuss or upheaval.

• People living at home and receiving care should enjoy the rights and opportunities afforded to all other members of the community. The rights and the dignity of every customer are enshrined in everything we do.

• Whilst we do not try to pretend that we are perfect we will always try our hardest. If we do get something wrong we will admit it and do our best to put it right.

• We will respect the rights of customers and of all members of staff. We will not tolerate discrimination of any kind and will work actively against it.

• We believe that domiciliary and live-in care has a significant role to play in the care of some people. However we will never encourage someone to receive an inappropriate care package simply for our own advantage.

• The well being of all our customers will always be the most important thing.

• We will act with care, compassion and understanding whilst at the same time being honest and straightforward. We believe that everyone has the right to make informed decisions about their care.

• We acknowledge that we cannot provide the standards of care we seek to achieve without the dedicated support of our workforce and we will therefore act as a fair and just employer in our dealing with all members of staff.

• We will act with discretion and confidentiality when dealing with, or discussing, customers and will always respect any individual’s rights and expectations.
The way care at home works

Customers have the right to expect that:

• We will always make sure that the care worker who visits you is competent to do the work required. That is why we visit you before the care starts to establish exactly what is required. In that way we can ascertain that the care worker(s) who visit you are the right people with the right skills for you.

• We will use the details we have agreed (known as the care plan) as the basis for our relationship. The creation of the care plan will not be one-sided but is an agreement about how the care will work. We will ask you for your consent and agreement in relation to all aspects of the care and support we are asked to provide.

• We accept that our place of work is first and foremost our customer’s home. We will not carry out activities which are not in the best interests of the customer or against their wishes.

• We have no right to judge how someone lives or how their home looks.

• We don’t do things to people, we do things with them. We value and respect the thoughts, preferences, choices and views of all customers and welcome these.

• We recognise that there may be other people involved in looking after a customer. This may be a friend, a family member, an advocate or any other person. We will respect and encourage their involvement, if this is agreed by the customer.

• We will not discuss any customer’s care, financial or personal life except in a professional confidential manner and in an appropriate setting.

• The agreed care will be set up properly in advance and a named individual will have responsibility for the care package. All care packages will be reviewed at least every six months and more frequently if required. This may include quality monitoring and arranging any necessary changes.

• Our customers are asked to understand and respect that we value our staff and have legal responsibilities to them. We will not put members of staff into situations where they are either at risk or where they are subject to harassment or intimidation.

• Customers are respectfully asked not to smoke when our care workers are in their presence.
Our Services

In line with our aims and objectives, Quality Homecare will consult Customers regarding their wishes and all aspects of their care, which will be recorded in an agreed ‘Care Plan’. The care plan will detail the actual tasks which have been agreed for each individual.

Our care workers are not allowed to perform tasks which do not appear on the Customers’ Care Plan.

Some of the activities which Quality Homecare workers may perform include:

• Help with personal care and hygiene
• Help with getting up and going to bed
• Prompting, assisting or administering prescribed medication
• Preparing meals and/or helping at mealtimes
• Pension collection and/or shopping
• Collecting and returning medication from pharmacies/dispensing GP surgeries
• Laundry
• Domestic cleaning
• Support with social activities, for example, helping someone attend a day centre, visit friends or family, go to the church or a club etc.

The following is a list of things we do not do:

• Assist or administer illegal substances or homely remedies
• Fill ‘dosset’ boxes or be involved with medication which is not in acceptable packaging
• Give injections
• Manage syringe drivers
• Change dressings
• Give medications through a specialist route such as a PEG/PEJ feeding system
• Insert or withdraw catheters (although they can change catheter bags and empty them)
• Cut nails

Visits

Quality Homecare provides a flexible care at home service commencing with a minimum 15 minute visit upwards. The shorter visits are generally to provide support and prompting with day to day tasks. Longer visits will usually be required for more comprehensive support such as help with bathing for example.
Responsiveness

Our aim is to create a care plan with you based on your wishes and needs, which is both realistic and effective. When we identify your needs and what we need to do to meet them we will develop a care plan with you and others that may need to be involved with your consent and agreement. Whilst our customers are our central focus, others such as health professionals, family carers, advocates and social services may all have input to make to ensure the care plan is effective, safe and meets a customer’s needs and wishes.
Reliability

Care workers, and everyone else involved in the Quality Homecare system, acknowledge that reliability is an absolute cornerstone of any form of care at home. Customers have an absolute right to receive what they have been promised. Training and supervision focus strongly upon reliability and customers are requested to let us know if the standards they expect are not being achieved.
How our care workers relate to you

We will always brief your care worker so that you do not need to explain their tasks to them. We will endeavour to keep the number of people to an absolute minimum in any case so that you do not see too many different faces. You will always know the name of the care worker who is coming to visit you. All care workers are trained in how to relate to you, to treat you with dignity, be courteous and friendly and to respect your needs and wants. If you have specific cultural, religious or other personal requirements we will respect and honour these.

The right to choose and manage independently

We support the importance and value of customer’s rights regarding independence. Customers have a right to make informed judgements about their care and should therefore be furnished with all relevant information when making choices. Care workers are trained not to ‘take over’ when providing care and a measure of success is about how well we can encourage and promote independence.
Safety and security

We have a thorough recruitment process in place and all staff members have been interviewed face to face and trained to do their jobs. Identity and history is checked before written references are taken up. Providing these are acceptable we then involve them in in-depth training and obtain a Criminal Records check. Ongoing training ensures that everyone is up to date on the legal and practical requirements involved in providing care at home. All care workers have an identity badge and must always show this to you at every visit to confirm who they are and for your protection.

We do not permit staff to hold a customer’s door key for safety and security reasons. In the event that special arrangements need to be made for access to the customers home we strongly advise the use of a key safe. Keys should never be ‘hidden’ near the door nor should keys ever carry a name or address. This is for the customers’ protection.
Accessibility of the Quality Homecare Service

It is the policy of Quality Homecare to ensure that care provided to Customers gives due regard to their age, sex, religious persuasion, sexual orientation, racial origin, culture and any disability they may have. We do not accept any form of negative discrimination and will do our utmost to resist this from any area. We ask our customers to respect this policy also.

It is a cornerstone of the service that it is available to all. Any form of discrimination is unacceptable and all customers or potential customers will be treated in a welcoming, professional and courteous manner. A brochure is available outlining the company’s services and this is available in other languages and in Braille if requested. Any customer, their representatives or any member of the public is welcome to visit our offices to discuss any part of our service during office hours.





Quality Assurance

The satisfaction, feedback and views of customers and/or their representatives and other stakeholders is important and we are proactive in seeking out and acting upon this wherever practical and appropriate. Annual surveys are carried out to find out what customers think about our service and to help us review and improve our service. We also visit customers on a regular basis for face to face discussions and feedback. Systems are in place to conduct quality audits in areas such as staff supervision; care plan reviews; recording practices and complaints. (Please see additional information in this guide regarding our complaint policy).

Quality Homecare operates within an open and transparent culture and is happy to provide additional information including copies of any policies and procedures at the request of customers for their information.
Comments, compliments and complaints

Quality Homecare prides itself is providing a high quality of care to people at home. We promote an open and transparent service to our customers and as such, are always willing to learn from customer comments in order to help us improve our service.

It is only by taking notice of the complaints, compliments and comments made by our customers and others that we are able to check whether we are delivering the service we promise and the standards expected.

Customers must not under any circumstances feel they may be discriminated against for making a complaint and will receive the necessary support to do so from our management and staff. We wish you to feel confident in the knowledge that there will be no negative impact on your care or support.

There might be occasions when a person needs help to voice their concerns or complaints. Where a customer or their representative require support to make a complaint, Quality Homecare will enable them to do so or try to facilitate this by providing information regarding local independent advocacy services for example.

Advocacy services will support a person who needs help to express themselves, have their views heard and to be listened to. The role of an advocate is to remain independent from the service provider (and others) and to focus specifically on promoting the rights and presenting the views of the individual.

If you wish to make a complaint we will:

• Respond sensitively and listen carefully to your concerns in confidence.

• Acknowledge your complaint in writing within one working day and keep records relating to your complaint.

• Tell you the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.

• Investigate your complaint thoroughly as soon as possible, taking no longer than 28 days to resolve your complaint where possible, providing you with a written report.

• We will keep you advised of the progress relating to your complaint on at least a weekly basis.
Getting help to complain:
If you need help to make a complaint Quality Homecare will try to support you in a fair and objective manner. If you are unwilling or unable to write to us and there is no-one else to help you, we will send a senior member of the management team to discuss the issues and write them down.
You may make your complaint verbally, in writing and/or through your representative or advocate.

All customers, or their advocates, have the right to complain to the relevant social services department (if their care is being funded or part-funded by social services) and everyone has the right to complain to CQC (Care Quality Commission).

If you are not satisfied with the way we handle your complaint you can contact the Regulator and/or the United Kingdom Home Care Association. From October 2010 individuals may also contact the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) if their complaint is not resolved

You can contact the relevant authorities as follows: Local Authority name and address
Telephone Number

• Care Quality Commission, Finsbury Tower, 103 – 105 Bunhill Row, London
EC1Y 8TG, Telephone: 03000 616161, Fax: 03000 616171
• The United Kingdom Home Care Association, Group House, 2nd Floor, 52 Sutton Court Road, Sutton, Surrey. SM1 4SL. Tel no: 020 8288 5291 Email: helpline@ukhca.co.uk
Website: www.ukhca.co.uk
• The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO): Advice Line 0300 061 0614 Website: www. lgo.org.uk

What a customer or their representative can do if they are concerned about or suspect abuse.

We promote a culture of openness and transparency in order to ensure the safety and welfare of all our customers and others, and as such provide details for any person to act in the event they have concerns in this area.

Abuse is sometimes referred to as ‘safeguarding’. We understand that when dealing with customers who are potentially vulnerable, the responsibilities to seek proactively any signs of abuse are part of our role. Care workers are trained in the signs of abuse which could include unhappiness, withdrawing, unexplained injuries or bruising, a change in someone’s appearance or mood and avoidance of particular people. Staff are made fully aware of the procedure for reporting such concerns.

In the event that customers or others are concerned about any matter relating to abuse, they can contact Quality Homecare’s management team in confidence (i.e. the Director and/or Care Manager) via the contact details located the front of this document or the local authority and/or CQC.

The local authority are the agency responsible for coordinating responses to abuse (safeguarding) matters and they will consult all relevant agencies including the police where appropriate. However, customers or others may also report concerns directly to the police if they wish to do so. Some people may also wish to contact an independent advocate to act on their behalf. We have included details for the relevant agencies in the previous section under our complaints policy.
Fees Payable

Customers who are paying for their own care or receiving funding from elsewhere, will receive details in advance of the care starting of the charges in and will know what they are paying for, how to pay and when to pay. Customers may request a statement of their account at any time and will be provided with receipts for any payments made. Full details of our terms and conditions and copies of agreements are provided to all customers and include rights and responsibilities of both the company and the customer.

Sometimes people will receive financial assistance from Social Services with their care. In this situation Social Services will agree with the customer what, if any, contribution they are required to make and how this should be paid (this may not happen until some weeks after the care has started).
Insurance

Quality Homecare has public liability insurance and employer’s liability insurance.
It is important to point out however that we do not insure customer’s homes or contents and we strongly recommend that this is covered by the homeowner.
Data Protection

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 Quality Homecare must operate systems which prohibit unauthorised access to, or disclosure of Customers personal information. You also have the right to access to personal information held about you. For an appointment to view your records, please contact us. All information relating to our customers is securely and confidentially stored in line with our confidentiality policy.





Information

A brochure detailing our services and this Customer Guide will be given to the Customer before service commences. Information can be made available in languages other than English, on audiotape and in Braille (by arrangement).

TERMS OF BUSINESS FOR CUSTOMERS AND PURCHASERS
1. These are the main terms of business for Quallity Homecare. Other considerations will revolve around our legal responsibilities and the policies and procedures of the company, which are available upon request and which may vary from time to time. All work is undertaken subject to the then current Terms of Business of the company. Purchasers and users of the service will be deemed to have accepted these terms by accepting care services from Quality Homecare.

2. Quality Homecare is a registered provider of domiciliary and live-in care services

3. All Care Workers are under contract with Quality Homecare for the provision of care services.

4. Quality Homecare will give a minimum of fourteen days notice of any change in the fees payable.

5. Quality Homecare will provide a detailed invoice or breakdown for each customer. Invoices are payable within seven days. If invoices are not paid this may affect the ability of the company to pay care workers and hence service may be suspended if accounts are not paid promptly.

6. The customer has the right to terminate this agreement within seven days of signing this agreement. Should this be the case all charges for any services which have been delivered prior to any such termination shall be chargeable and payable at the agreed rate. Any termination within the first seven days shall not be subject to a notice period and will be immediate.

7. Should a customer or their representative chose to appoint a care worker introduced to them by Quality Homecare as a direct employee or a self-employed person, Quality Homecare shall levy an invoice of £250 as a ‘finders fee’ to cover the cost of recruitment, training etc.

8. Quality Homecare will agree with the customer and with any other stakeholders involved, a Care Plan, which will specify the days and tasks to be carried out. Changing these without the formal agreement of Quality Homecare may affect the wellbeing of other customers or the company’s responsibilities to staff, members of the public or other customers. It is therefore a condition that changes must always be formally agreed.

9. Quality Homecare does not accept responsibility for damage to the fabric, fixtures, fittings and contents of the Customer’s home, howsoever caused, and Customers should make sure that their home and contents insurance covers this risk. However, we would accept our legal responsibilities for any justifiable claim.

10. A notice period of twenty eight days will be given by Quality Homecare in the event of withdrawing from service except where continuing provision may be in the view of the company potentially hazardous or in any case judged by Quality Homecare as being of force majeur.

11. If a customer should decide to terminate a single visit early or to cancel a single visit with less than 48 hours notice the full charge for the visit shall be made. If a customer shall choose to send a care worker away at any time during the visit for any reason a full charge for the visit as booked will be made as if the full visit had been completed.

12. The customer shall give a minimum of twenty eight days notice for termination of the service once the initial seven day ‘cooling off’ period has been exceeded. If such notice is not given, an invoice will be payable based on the agreed care plan for the relevant period.

13. Quality Homecare reserves the right to transfer the benefit of this contract to another provider, giving fourteen days notice.

14. Copies of the Quality Homecare policies and procedures, including the Statement of Purpose, are available on request.

15. Quality Homecare shall be entitled to vary these terms and conditions at any time.

16. From time to time Quality Homecare may seek to offer you additional services or products which it feels may be of benefit to you. If you do NOT wish us to contact you with such information please advise the company at its Registered Office