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How do I obtain help when I feel I cannot cope with my everyday care?

If you feel you require help with your day-to-day care, it is best to arrange an assessment of needs with your local Social Care & Health Department. This will ascertain whether you require domiciliary, residential or nursing care, and will initiate the appropriate arrangements for you.

How do I choose an appropriate home?

Should you require the support of a residential or nursing home, ensure the home you choose is one where you will feel happy and safe. If it is not possible for you to personally visit homes, ask family or friends to go on your behalf. The final choice is yours and you have the right to refuse any home about which you are uncertain.

What is the difference between domiciliary, residential and nursing care?

Domiciliary care is provided at your own home. Residential care is provided in a care home setting and is for people requiring extra support and care but for whom nursing care is not needed. Nursing care is provided for people who need constant monitoring but are suitably medically stable to not require hospitalisation.

Can trial visits be arranged?

It is best practice for all nursing homes to offer a trial visit for a couple of hours or even a whole day, providing an opportunity to experience the surroundings, meet staff and fellow residents, and to try out the menu.

How do residents pay for their stay?

In general, residents are either pay fees privately or the Social Care & Health Department and the appropriate Clinical Commissioning Group fund them. If a person has assets of more than £23,250 (from April 2013), it is normal for them to pay for their own care until assets reduce to this amount. There is a further sliding scale between £23,250 and £14,250 worth of assets, after which care is provided free of charge. If the main home is still occupied by a spouse or partner who is over 60 years of age, then the asset value of it will not be taken into account in the assessment of total worth.

What is a top-up?

A top-up is a payment made by a third party i.e. a relative or a power of attorney. It supplements the funding paid by your local Social Care & Health Department. This payment enables a resident to stay in a home where fees are greater than the standard amount agreed by Social Care & Health, and it makes up the difference. Top-ups are becoming increasingly common and can range from £15 to £150 per week.

What is the Registered Nursing Care Contribution?

Registered Nursing Care Contributions or Funded Nursing Care covers the costs of nursing care within a nursing home, and is paid by the appropriate Clinical Commissioning Group. It is not paid to residents in residential homes. It is paid to the home directly by the Clinical Commissioning Group and is normally deductible from the gross cost of nursing home fees for privately funded residents. Two levels of registered nursing care contributions are currently offered: high and flat rate, which equate to £151.10 and £109.79 respectively. A regular assessment is carried out by a local nurse assessor to ascertain which level is payable and for which resident.

What is a Clinical Commissioning Group?

Since April 1st 2013 Clinical Commissioning Groups have control of all budgets and matters that were previously the responsibility of local Primary Care Trusts. These groups are made up of several GP practices, which are responsible for funding the nursing care needs of its registered patients. These groups make the assessments and arrange payments for any agreed nursing interventions, including continuing healthcare needs.

Are there any extra charges to be made?

Normally the fees paid will cover all day-to-day care needs, including food, laundry, cleaning and certain activity costs. Extra charges are usually made for hairdressing, private telephone facilities, newspapers, chiropody, aromatherapy, physiotherapy and outings to theatres etc. Residents would always be expected to purchase their own clothing.

How is a home’s performance monitored?

The Care Quality Commission Inspectorate inspects every home twice a year. The findings of these inspections are documented in a public report. The local Fire Service and the Environmental Health Department also carry out inspections. It is also a statutory requirement for the owner or senior management of every home to inspect it on a monthly basis. The result of this inspection is made available to the Care Quality Commission on request.

How are complaints dealt with?

Every home should have its own complaints procedure. This usually takes the form of a verbal or written complaint, which should be forwarded to the Manager of the establishment who will then conduct an investigation into the incident. If the outcome of this is acceptable to all parties then the matter will be concluded. If not, the situation can be escalated to the owners of the home, the Social Care & Health Department and the Care Quality Commission for further investigation.

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