Standards of Service - Domestic 
 
A good relationship with the Helping Hands Management, who actively encourage communication and input from all clients. 
 
A comprehensive domiciliary support service for all clients regardless of disability, gender or creed. 
 
A positive response at times of changing priorities and immediate reaction to any dis-satisfaction with the service they are receiving. 
 
Involvement in decision making. 
 
Respect for their privacy, dignity and independence. 
 
Complete confidentiality. 
 
Efficient staff, who are all employed by and rigorously vetted by, Helping Hands, who can be identified by their I.D. card. 
 
Staff who arrive promptly and complete the specified time. 
 
Helping Hands Care Managers who work in partnership with other services to ensure the continued well being of all clients. 
 
A telephone call or letter from Helping Hands to inform of change of person or time and the reason why. 
 
Clients who are not left without help. For general domestic an alternative day or time may be offered.  
 
Contact after four weeks to ensure the service is running smoothly (or sooner if proved necessary), and thereafter needs led, but always available to respond as need arises, but in any case by letter, telephone or visit annually. 
 
Comments, suggestions and complaints will be responded to positively. They should be made directly to the office. This can be done in person, by telephone or in writing. A member of the Helping Hands management team will then take appropriate action.  
 
If you feel that a complaint is not being dealt with satisfactorily by Helping Hands you can contact the United Kingdom of Homecare Association as an impartial and independent body. There telephone number is: 0181 288 1557. 
Summary of Statement of Purpose 
 
The following information is a summary of Helping Hands statement of purpose the full document is available from the office on request. 
 
Helping Hands is an established Community Care Service operating within Exmouth and the surrounding areas covering a radius of approximately eight miles. 
 
The services are provided for adults to cover a range of needs including: 
Reduced mobility 
Cognitive impairment 
Physical disabilities  
Sensory loss 
People who are returning home from hospital 
Older people with reduced ability to live independently 
Reduced ability due to illness 
 
The business was started in 1986. Helping Hands is very committed to community care and the ethos of the business has not changed over time.  
 
The business is locally based and not part of a National Organisation. Helping Hands is registered with the Commission for Social Care Inspection. In addition has been successfully accredited by Devon County Council in 1994, is a member of the United Kingdom Homecare Association, Devon Independent Care Providers Association and the Devon Care Training Consortium.  
 
Helping Hands has a fully comprehensive Public Liability insurance details of which are available in the Helping Hands office. 
 
Aims: 
The aim of the service is to provide reliable and practical support, which is responsive to changing need, and carefully monitored to ensure continued quality, meeting the standards laid down by legislation and policies.  
Each package of care is tailored to suit individual needs. The service is available seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year. 
 
Services that we provide: 
The help offered can be personal, which is not professional nursing care, but can include assistance with:- 
Personal hygiene – to include support with bathing and washing 
Dressing and undressing 
Health related activities i.e. support with catheter care, support stockings  
Supporting individuals to maintain their medication regimes, including the application of creams 
 
Or practical to include:- 
Shopping 
Meal preparation 
Laundry 
Domestic support 
Accompanied visits 
Social interaction - taking to the library, outings etc. 
Sitting service - carer relief so that the carer can have a break 
 
Details of the service: 
All prospective clients are visited prior to start of service, except if an emergency set up is required, when we will visit within 48 hours. The purpose of this visit, which is made by one of Helping Hands Care Managers, is to assess the client’s needs and discuss preferences and choice. We actively encourage involvement from clients, their families and carers in setting up any aspect of service. Helping Hands is bound by its confidentiality policy. See appendix B. 
 
Written confirmation will be provided once the service has been agreed, but always within seven days of commencement. Once a package of care has been set up and staff allocated, Helping Hands will only make changes in consultation with the client.  
 
If a client has been referred by Social Services it will be Social Services who determine financial arrangements. Likewise, if the Health Authority has organised the care it will be their responsibility to give details of costs and payment methods. For clients purchasing help direct from Helping Hands Terms and Conditions of Service can be found in Appendix D. 
 
Standards of service you can expect to receive: 
 
A good relationship with the Helping Hands Management, who actively encourage communication and input from all clients, respecting choice and individuality 
 
A positive response at times of changing priorities and immediate reaction to any dissatisfaction with the service you are receiving. 
 
Complete involvement in any decision regarding the service you receive  
 
Respect for privacy, dignity and independence. To be treated as an individual and have your values, beliefs and chosen lifestyle respected at all times 
 
Complete confidentiality. See appendix B for policy 
 
An allocated team of staff who visit on a regular basis for clients in receipt of a daily service. A nominated member of staff for clients receiving one or two visits per week  
 
Staff who are trained to meet clients needs as specified in the care plan. 
 
Staff who arrive promptly and complete the specified time. 
 
Staff who receive regular supervision and monitoring from their managers. 
 
Staff that are provided with disposable gloves and aprons where needed. All other supplies / equipment is the responsibility of the client, social services or health. 
 
Helping Hands Care Managers working in partnership with other services to ensure the continued well being of all clients. 
 
A telephone call, schedule or letter from Helping Hands to inform of change of person or time and the reason why. 
 
Clients who are not left without help. For general domestic an alternative day or time may be offered. For those in receipt of personal care/meal time visits, cover will be arranged within half an hour. 
 
Staff recruitment and training: 
Helping Hands has a rigorous recruitment procedure and all staff have to undertake a Criminal Records bureau check. We are committed to having knowledgeable, well trained staff, throughout the structure.  
 
All senior managers have nationally recognised qualifications and/ or relevant experience in the care field.  
 
All care staff undertake a comprehensive 12 week induction programme with continued training throughout their employment ensuring they have the skills to meet clients needs.  
The qualifications undertaken include: 
Manual handling, food safety, health and safety, first aid, infection control, medication management, protection of vulnerable adults, stroke awareness and national vocational qualifications in care.  
Other courses are arranged as required to ensure the staff have the necessary knowledge and skills to undertake their job role. 
 
Quality assurance: 
Helping Hands is anxious to ensure quality of service for all clients. To this end a rigorous Quality Assurance programme is carried out. A review form will be sent after the first four weeks to ensure the service is running smoothly and thereafter needs led. A comprehensive review will be undertaken at least annually. 
An annul quality audit is undertaken by Helping Hands of the services provided and the full reports are available at the office. 
 
A Copy of Helping Hands Complaints Procedure is listed in Appendix A. All reviews are logged, analysed and audited. 
 
In addition the following documents are held at Helping Hands and can be made available during office hours, for your inspection.  
A full Prospectus giving details of key policies and procedures 
Statement of purpose 
Inspection report produced by the Commission for Social Care Inspection following their annual visit to Helping Hands.  
 
Office hours and out of hours arrangements 
Helping Hands office hours are 8.00 am to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Friday. At all other times there is a comprehensive back up system with a duty officer on call whilst care staff are working in the field. The Duty Officer has a nominated Duty Manager who is a member of the senior management team. The Duty Manager is available for advice, guidance or to take over as duty officer should the need arise. This enables Helping Hands to respond to any sudden staff absence or client emergency without delay. However, we do ask that the duty line is reserved for emergency and urgent calls only. All other matters can be dealt with during office hours. 
 
Care Staff identity 
All Helping Hands employees are issued with an identity card. This has their photograph on it and Helping Hands telephone number. If you do not recognise the member of staff please ask to see their badge. Helping Hands staff would not call on you any other time than has been previously arranged. 
 
Smoking at work 
Helping Hands has a strict no smoking policy and staff are not allowed to smoke in your home. 
 
Shopping, handling of money, acceptance of gifts and clients possessions 
 
Staff can only support clients with shopping or financial matters if this task has been authorised by a manager from Helping Hands. This is to safeguard clients and staff and promote trust. See appendix C for Helping Hands financial policy. 
 
Our staff are not allowed to accept gifts and cannot under any circumstances act as signatories to will or legal documents. Nor are they allowed to purchase any items from you or offer any goods, services or items for sale or purchase. 
 
The safety and insurance of the client’s home is the client’s responsibility. Helping Hands staff are only responsible for their own acts or negligence. All staff should treat your property and possessions with the utmost respect. However if an accident does occur resulting in any damage the member of staff will report it immediately to the office whilst still at your home.  
 
Health and Safety 
Helping Hands has a responsibility to take measures to protect the safety of both its staff and clients. This is done in accordance with all legislation and guidance. During the initial visit made to you by one of Helping Hands Care Managers a series of risk assessments were undertaken in consultation with you for this purpose. Please inform the office of any changes to your home or circumstances in the future. These risk assessments will be reviewed at least annually or if there is any reported change. 
 
Helping Hands recognises that all risk cannot be removed but any identified risk must be reduced to the lowest practicable level. All equipment must be maintained and serviced in accordance with manufacturers instructions. Staff will be supplied with any necessary personal protective equipment by Helping Hands.  
 
Insurance 
Helping Hands has comprehensive employers and public liability insurance. This however does not include any insurance for being transported in Helping Hands staff own cars. Copies of current certificates are available in the office for inspection.  
 
Non discrimination 
All service users can expect not be subject to any discrimination for any reason and will be treated equally regardless of their race, colour, nationality, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, disability or age.  
Any particular preferences or needs will be taken into account in providing the care that you receive. The views and wishes of the client are of paramount importance. 
 
Clients and staff have the right not to be harassed or intimidated whilst at work. Any incidents will be taken very seriously. 
 
Use of telephone 
 
Staff will not use your telephone unless they need to report something to the office on your behalf or in an emergency. Nor are they allowed to have their mobile phone on whilst in your home. 
 
Reporting concerns 
Staff are required to report any incident, concern or poor practice which may affect the health and safety or well being of any individual.  
 
If you require any further information do not hesitate to contact the office.  
 
APPENDIX A: COMPLAINTS POLICY 
 
Policy Statement 
An effective complaints, comments and compliments procedure is essential to the delivery of a quality service. Helping Hands managers actively encourages input from Service Users, families, staff and other professionals. It is important that the process is accessible, transparent and straightforward. All Service users and staff are issued with a copy of the policy. All complaints, comments and compliments are monitored for trends and incorporated into the quality assurance process. Any findings will be published in the annual quality assurance report. 
 
Service Users 
To ensure the service Helping Hands provides matches the service users needs and expectations any compliments, comments or complaints are welcomed from the service user, family or representative. 
 
Positive action is taken to encourage and enable Service Users to use the complaints and commendations procedure including access to appropriate interpretation and methods of communication. If there is a complaint about the service being provided by Helping Hands, the following steps should be taken:- 
 
If possible the problem should be discussed with the care worker, who will do her/his best to resolve the problem quickly to the service users satisfaction 
 
If this is not possible Service Users should contact:- Rosemary Witherby at Helping Hands on 01395 277835.  
 
If possible at this stage the complaint should be recorded, in writing, and sent to Rosemary Witherby at Helping Hands, Belvedere House, Belvedere Road, Exmouth EX8 1QN 
 
A friend or relative may write out the complaint if preferred, but if possible the service user should sign. 
 
Alternatively a Manager from Helping Hands will help to put the complaint in writing and a copy will be issued to the service user for signature to ensure that an accurate account has been taken. 
 
If a service user is not happy about making the complaint, and does not know anyone who is prepared to talk to Helping Hands, the manager will put the service user in contact with someone from an independent organisation to act as an advocate. 
 
If Helping Hands receives a written complaint it may take a little time to consider it fully, but it will be responded to in writing within one week to acknowledge receipt and to advise what steps will be taken to resolve it. 
 
If there is no immediate solution the matter will be investigated fully, contacting those concerned. Helping Hands will then write to the service user within three weeks with details of any findings, actions and proposals to resolve the complaint. 
 
Helping Hands would not want anyone to be anxious or concerned about any outcomes. A response will be made as quickly as possible. 
 
If at any stage the service user is unhappy with the way in which the complaint is being dealt with, or wishes to make an appeal, the service user can contact one of the following:- 
 
United Kingdom Home Care Association, 42 Banstead Road, Carshalton Beeches, Surrey SM5 3NW.  
Tel. 0181 288 1551 
 
Exmouth Adult and Community Services, Town Hall, St Andrews Road, Exmouth  
Tel. 01392 38 5700 
 
Staff: 
If a member of staff wishes to make a complaint: 
A complaint form should be completed and given to Rosemary Witherby. 
A meeting will be arranged to discuss the complaint 
The complaint will be fully investigated and the member of staff informed of the outcomes within one week 
If the staff member is not satisfied with the outcomes they may contact: 
 
Commendations: 
Commendations and compliments, both written and verbal, are recorded and comments are passed to the relevant member of staff. These form part of our Quality Assurance Audit. 
 
APPENDIX B: CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY 
Any information passed to Helping Hands by staff, service users or their representatives is strictly confidential and is treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act, 1998, the Caldicott recommendations and Helping Hands own Policy. 
 
STAFF 
Trust is an integral part of the ability to provide consistent high standards of care and as such it must not be broken. All staff are given information on the importance of maintaining confidentiality, when it is appropriate to share information with others. They are also given a copy of the confidentiality policy as part of their induction training.  
 
Only where the nature of the confidence may have a detrimental impact upon the standard of care will staff consider passing it on, and then only to one of Helping Hands Senior Managers. Disclosure of confidential personal information without the consent of the person providing it may take place only under exceptional circumstances. The Manager will determine the most appropriate course of action. Confidentiality may be breached when one of the following has occurred:- 
 
A criminal offence has been or is being or is likely to be committed 
That a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal legislation, to which they are subject 
The health and safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered  
 
 
Staff must not pass on to any third party personal information relating to service users in their care without their consent. 
 
Inappropriate breaches will be taken very seriously and fully investigated. A breach of confidence may constitute gross misconduct and as such may lead to dismissal. This does not affect staff rights regarding whistle blowing, which protects staff when unsound practice may be called into question. If a breach has occurred the following procedure will be instigated:- 
 
The member of staff interviewed and an incident form completed 
Any other persons involved contacted and any necessary action taken 
Measures taken to minimise the impact and to prevent any further breaches of confidentiality 
Any disciplinary action evoked 
 
SERVICE USERS 
All information gathered from service users in relation to their package of care is only done so with the permission of the service user, and if appropriate their family or representative. Confidentiality is observed at all times during Helping Hands administration process. The information contained in service users information sheets, care plans etc. is strictly confidential and information is issued on a need to know basis. 
 
All details relating to service user care packages are kept in locked metal filing cabinets and access to these records is restricted to Helping Hands managers. Any records to be used by the out of hours duty officer are also kept in a lockable metal file. Service users can have access to their records if they wish. All computers are situated in an office away from public view and information is not left on display when not in use.  
 
Information prepared for use in the service user home will only be used with the service user’s permission and will be held in an A4 folder. Service users will be made aware of all information to be held in this file and will sign to indicate their agreement. 
 
March 2003/Reviewed October 2005/February 2007 
 
Appendix C – Finance policy 
 
Shopping 
Shopping or supporting with any financial matters is a specific requirement and can only be undertaken by staff if they have been specifically requested to do so by Helping Hands. It must be undertaken on the day and time specified on the employees timesheet. 
Authorisation must be sought from Helping Hands at all other times. 
 
If staff have been authorised to support a Service User with their shopping then the following procedure is implemented: 
 
The amount of money given to the member of staff is entered on the financial transaction record found in the A4 file. The Service User is asked to sign and verify the entry. 
 
Loyalty cards other than those belonging to the Service User will not be used. 
 
On return from shopping, the receipts are dated, the amount spent entered and change given on the financial transaction record checking this with the Service User. Again the service user will be asked to sign the entry in the file as well as the staff member. 
 
If a pension is collected or bills paid, the date and amount will be recorded on the transaction record in the file, the service user will be asked to sign verifying the entry. All benefit books must be returned to the Service User. 
 
If staff are asked to write cheques on behalf of the Service Users, details must be recorded on the financial transaction record.  
 
A credit card or pin number for a service user must never be disclosed to a member of staff. If a service user is having difficulty in obtaining money then please contact Helping Hands and we will advise on a course of action.  
 
This procedure is in place to protect service users and staff. Handling money on behalf of others is always difficult and the more safeguards we have in place the more efficiently the system operates.  
 
When shopping for a service user the nearest supermarket or town centre should be used but representing service user choice. Any car parking fees will be claimed directly from the service user, the ticket should be passed to the service user with the shopping receipts. 
 
All financial transaction records must be returned to the office at the end of each month. These will be checked and kept on the Service User’s file. 
 
General Finance 
Staff may not borrow money from or lend money to a service user. This is to prevent possible misunderstandings that inadvertently lead to difficulties that might impair the quality of care we aim to provide. 
 
Staff must not buy items from or sell items directly to the service user in Helping Hands care, nor should they accept any financial liability on behalf of service users. Service users and staff taking part in joint lottery syndicates is not allowed nor should staff take responsibility for looking after anything valuable on behalf of service users. 
 
If there are any allegations of financial irregularities Helping Hands will fully investigate. The following procedure will be implemented: 
 
A written statement will be produced and information logged on the incident record. 
All parties will be visited and a record completed. 
Any supporting evidence will be gathered. 
Findings will be passed to the Protection of Vulnerable Adults team or Police and any other interested parties.  
Appropriate action will be taken 
 
Irregularities may be identified through: 
Checking of records 
Annual review 
Reported concerns 
Staff supervision 
 
March 2003/Reviewed October 2005/ February 2007 
 
APPENDIX D:COSTS: 
 
Domestic: 
General Cleaning: From £10.95 per hour 
Shopping: £14.90 per hour 
 
Care Packages: 
Monday to Friday: 
8.00am-10.00pm - £14.90 per hour 
 
Weekend: 
£15.30 per hour  
 
Bank Holidays are charged at double time except for Christmas and New Year. The rates for this time will be advised, in writing, prior to that period. 
 
Travelling Costs: 
Exmouth outskirts: 85p per visit 
Budleigh Salterton/Lympstone: £1.40 per visit 
Woodbury/ Exton/ East Budleigh: £1.90 per visit 
All other areas outside of Exmouth will be charged at 35p per mile. 
Clients requiring shopping will also be charged at 35p per mile. 
 
Methods of payment: 
Invoice will be sent every four weeks. Payment can be made by cheque or cash. If it is a cash payment it is advised that this be paid direct to the office 
 
Cancellation Details: 
If you should need to cancel a visit 48 hours notice is required. If for any reason you need to cancel the service completely notice of five working days is required. Cancellations can only be made from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. If the appropriate amount of notice is not received you will be charged at the normal rate. 
 
Useful Addresses  
 
General Social Care Council 
Goldings House 
2 Hay’s Lane 
London 
SE1 2HB 
Telephone: 020 7397 5100 
 
Care Direct 
Telephone: 0800 444000 
 
Exmouth Hospital 
Telephone: 01395 279684 
 
Budleigh Salterton Hospital 
Telephone: 01395 442020 
 
Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital  
Telephone: 01392 411611 
 
Updated March 2009 
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