One of the policies and procedures a new home care business must have is the Consent and Customer Involvement Policy and Procedure.
Below is the Consent and Customer Involvement Policy and Procedure 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 Consent and Customer Involvement Policy and Procedure.
CONSENT AND CUSTOMER INVOLVEMENT
Quality Home Care is committed to providing high standards of customer care and has strong values and beliefs regarding how customers should be treated and involved in planning their care.
Quality Homecare believes in a ‘can do’ attitude and that customers are the most important people in the ‘chain’ of care delivery, and as such deserve due respect and consideration. All staff must treat customers in a pleasant, polite and professional manner and listen carefully to the customer’s views. Customer satisfaction will always be a major decider in the success of the company.
The company is required by the regulations & law to have suitable arrangements in place for enabling customers to make or participate in decision making and for obtaining, and acting in accordance with the consent of individuals in relation to the care and treatment provided to them.
Consent is defined as that which has been given voluntarily, by an appropriately informed person who has the capacity to agree to the activity in question.
‘Informed consent’ means ensuring that a person is informed of all of elements involved including the nature of the care or treatment, possible alternatives, the potential risks and benefits. In order for informed consent to be considered valid, the person must be competent and the consent should be given voluntarily.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides some protection for vulnerable people and has a number of principles that must be considered where there are issues around mental capacity. The Mental Health Foundation produced a research report which outlined some factors which people found helpful in expressing their views and others that hindered their decision-making.
Our service to customers will not commence until a written plan of care is in place and the customer has been fully involved in agreeing such a plan. The company will not under any circumstances provide care to people which has not been previously agreed with them and/or their representatives.
Quality Homecare will always try to promote the customers’ independence and enable them to manage their own care where possible. Our role is not about taking over a person’s care.
Customers will be listened to by our staff and we will help to support any individual express their views and enable them to access a suitable person such as an advocate where required or requested by providing information.
Quality Homecare will ensure that due regard is given to the individuals’ human rights and any matters relating to equality including race, religion, culture, disability, sex, age and any other beliefs and preferences in order to facilitate good communication and practice.
Consent and Customer Involvement Procedure
Quality Home Care will provide information to customers and/or their representatives in a way they are able to understand it and to give valid consent. Any information relating to a customer or others will be maintained, used and stored in line with legislation and good practice and they will be aware of what information is held and how to access this.
The Quality Homecare customer guide is provided to all customers and includes a range of topics such as our aims and objectives; code of practice; how to raise a concern or complaint; the services we offer and what we and cannot provide, as well as many other areas.
The guide also provides advice and information on how to contact external agencies including the CQC (Care Quality Commission, the United Kingdom Home Care Association, the local authority and advocacy services.
Consent and Customer Involvement in Care Planning:
It is central to Quality Homecare policy and procedures that customers are fully involved in all aspects of their care and are central to the process. This includes the care planning and assessment process whereby all customers are fully consulted regarding their preferences, wishes and aspirations.
Staff will respect the human rights and diversity of customers and discuss what is important to them and how they prefer their care to be provided.
During the assessment process Quality Homecare will discuss the benefits and any risks associated with the provision of care with the customer and a risk assessment will be produced to minimise or remove such risks. Risks could be associated with the provision of personal care (for example moving and handling; help with medication administration) or other aspects of their lives (for example accessing the community).
Customer choices and preferences will be respected and accommodated unless others are placed at risk of harm or injury or it is not in line with our stated aims and objectives for the service.
We will regularly review a customer’s plan of care with their full involvement taking into account the ongoing need for consent to care and treatment, and that this continues to remain valid. For example, that there has been no deterioration in the person’s ability and capacity to give such consent.
Staff must always report any concerns around a customer’s mental capacity or deterioration in their health immediately to the senior manager in order that an urgent review can be arranged with the relevant persons.
Where we recognise that there may be concerns around a person’s capacity to give valid consent the company will consult significant others involved in the persons care including other professionals, relatives, legal representatives, advocates in order to ensure the best interests of the person are protected in respect of any decisions that are made affecting them and/or relating to their plan of care.
It may be necessary to involve an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) where the legislation dictates this. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 makes provisions for an IMCA service which provides an independent safeguard to support particular vulnerable people who lack capacity to make important decisions who have no-one to appropriately consult regarding certain decisions. The referral to an IMCA service should be made by the relevant local authority or health authority involved in the persons care as required by their obligations under the Act.
Quality Homecare will in the event of an emergency and where the customer is unable to give consent, inform and consult the relevant professionals (for example the local authority care manager or general practitioner) or representatives (for example advocacy services/next of kin) for advice in order to protect and ensure the best interests of the individual. We will only share the information previously agreed with the customer and/or others and in line with legislation and good practice. Additional information will only be shared with appropriate persons if is deemed necessary and in the persons best interests.
Signing of documentation:
Quality Homecare will ensure customers and/or their representatives are provided with copies of care plans and risk assessments and that the parties involved are able to sign confirming their agreement and indicating consent to any plan of care.
The company has a comprehensive induction and training programme for care workers which includes ensuring staff understand the principles of respect, dignity, choice and independence and the importance of customers’ involvement and consent relating to their care. Staff receive training in accordance with the nationally recognised induction standards set by Skills for Care and training in mandatory areas to promote the safety and well-being of customers.