Fern Care Services Quality of Life is our Policy
Policy Statement for Carers

Fern Care Services considers any form of abuse intolerable and we are committed to zero tolerance of abuse. Those we care for should not have their dignity or quality of life damaged through abuse or even the fear of it. We are committed to preventing abuse and therefore, every member of staff is taught to be vigilant and the importance of being able to recognise signs of abuse.

Action on Elder Abuse describe abuse as:
"A single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, that causes harm or distress to an older person."

Physical Abuse – the non accidental infliction of physical force that results in a bodily injury, pain or impairment (including the inappropriate use of medication)
Financial Abuse – the unauthorised or improper use of funds, property or any other resource of an older person Sexual Abuse – direct or indirect involvement in any form of sexual activity without consent Neglect – the deprivation of assistance needed by an older person for important activities of daily living
Psychological Abuse – the use of threats, humiliation, bullying, swearing and racial abuse

Abuse is not only sexual, physical, financial, and verbal but can also be through restraint, drugging, etc, As well as abuse, there are bad practices that contribute to the neglect or harm of Service Users and these will be addressed the same as abuse to resolve the situation.

If you are aware of signs of abuse or suspected abuse, (be it by family members, neighbours or fellow staff) it is your duty to report your concerns immediately to the Care Manager. We would rather investigate a well-meaning concern than overlook potential abuse. Care Workers should not be afraid to report a genuine worry that abuse might be occurring.

It is also important to record any incidents, etc within the Service User diary as this can help when investigating a suspected concern. The diary should be used to record issues such as poor personal appearance, concerns over personal items, financial information, and avoidance of certain staff, family members.

Where you genuinely feel the matter has not been handled properly by Fern Care Services you have the right to “blow the whistle” for which we have a Whistle blowing Policy to guide you in this matter. Below are listed external organisations that abuse can be reported to or can provide advice and information.

All staff will be trained to recognise abuse, how to deal with incidents and how to report their suspicions. All new staff will receive training on recognising abuse as part of their induction and within the first 6 months of employment. Staff will attend refresher courses every 2 years. When recruiting new staff, the agency will refer to POVA register and conduct CRB Checks. With regard to those persons already in our employ, we will apply for retrospective POVA.

External Organisations That Can Provide Advice or Report Abuse:
  1. Action on Elder Abuse helpline 0208 8835 9280
  2. Care Quality Commission (CQC) 03000 616161
  3. General Social Care Council 0870 600 5522/ Text Phone 0870 240 3701
Complaints Policy and Procedure

Fern Care Services aim to give service users a tailored care service that addresses individual needs. We are always pleased to hear any comments on our work, good or bad, as things can sometimes go wrong and we need our service users to inform us. We value feedback from service users as it allows us to review the services being offered and look at possible areas for improvement. Where we value feedback, we will respond to any issues raised without affecting the services we provide to you.

Fern Care Services is committed to dealing effectively with complaints and firmly committed to the principles of equal opportunities in the delivery of services. Fern Care Services will not tolerate discrimination of gender, race, age, disability, colour, sexuality or sexual preference.

Should you have a complaint, please contact Fern Care Services. A complaint does not have to be in writing for it to be investigated. We can help you to find independent advice to assist you in making a complaint. A complaint can be made on behalf of a service user.

You may of course contact the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or your Local Authority at any time/stage of our complaints procedure to make a complaint directly. Fern Care Services will co-operate with the local authority or CQC to investigate or resolve any complaint.

Care Quality Commission

CQC National Customer Service Centre
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Tel: 03000 61 61 61

Stage 1

All complaints, verbal or in writing will be acknowledged within 2 working days. A full reply, in writing, will be made within 10 days of the complaint being acknowledged by the Senior Administrator. Should a complaint be of a complex nature and require more than 10 days to investigate and respond, you will receive a holding reply to advise you of the delay. If you are not satisfied with the full reply at stage 1 you must notify us within 28 days.

Stage 2

If you are not satisfied with the outcome at stage 1 or should you have any further or new information that was not previously disclosed at stage 1, this can be submitted to be reviewed by the Manager. Any additional or new information will be acknowledged within 2 working days and the complaint reviewed alongside the newly supplied information. A final decision will be made within 10 working days in writing after acknowledgement of the further or new information.

Stage 3

Should you remain dissatisfied with your reply at stage 2, you should contact the CQC or the Social Services department of your Local Authority.

Confidentiality Policy

In providing a high level of care, it is vital that we have the necessary information regarding Service Users in order to provide a tailored service that meets their needs.

It is essential that the information and records that we keep are kept confidential to maintain and respect Service Users rights to confidentiality and privacy.

It is our legal obligation that we observe the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. This Act states that we must obtain information in a fair manner, retain this information for specific purposes, for this information to be kept up to date and not stored for longer than necessary.

Access to records of any person in our care or employ is strictly restricted to protect privacy and confidentiality, as per the Data Protection Act, for which we have a separate policy statement.

Anyone in our care or employ may see their own personal records we keep about him or her once reasonable notice has been given.

Under the Domiciliary Care Agencies Regulations 2008, Fern Care Service is obliged to ensure that all information regarding Service Users and the care that we provide respects the confidentiality of each individual Service User.

Staff must observe the following at all times:

Any breach of the above list, which is not exhaustive, will lead to disciplinary action as gross misconduct.