In this section we explain the standards of service you should expect from a short break or respite care service
Standards of Care
Below is an extract from the National Care Standards for Respite and Short Breaks for Adults. It gives you an idea of the sort of things you can ask the provider of your short break to provide.
Your short break provider will be aware of these requirements, as they are the kind of things the Care Inspectorate will check for when inspecting the provider’s service. (From April 2011 the Care Commission’s responsibilities were taken over by a new organisation called Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland – or Care Inspectorate for short.)
These standards are written for adult services but the principles will apply to other services too.
The Care Standards lay particular importance on what they call an “individual agreement”. Here’s what it says:
As far as possible, the individual agreement covers your own and your carer’s wishes of the service and what is to be provided. It records an assessment of your needs that is carried out by the provider. The agreement is in a language and format that you can easily understand.
The individual agreement includes:
- a record of the agreed service, including what the service is, how long it will last, how often it is provided, its purpose and cost;
- a record of your hopes and your carer’s hopes of the service and how the provider will meet them;
- arrangements for reviewing the service being provided;
- what you prefer to be called;
- a record of your individual choices and preferences, including social and recreational activities;
- for a break away from your own home, a record of your preferred accommodation;
- your personal care needs;
- your food preference and any special dietary needs;
- the management of medication and any other medical procedures;
- cultural, faith, religious and spiritual needs;
- contact details; and
- procedures to be used in emergencies.
The standards also say that you should expect the following…
- You can meet a member of staff to discuss your needs before agreeing any service. With your permission, information will be made available to the provider to help them decide if they can respond to your needs.
- You can invite anyone you want to support you in making your needs known.
- Your carer or representative can contribute to any discussions about your needs in relation to what the service can offer.
- You have your wishes listened to, and respected, over the purpose of the short break service. The needs and wishes of your carer or representative are taken into account.
- You can be confident that the service provider records the views of your carer or representative separately and considers them when finalising details of the service that will be provided.
- If your views and those of your carer about the delivery of the service are different, you will both be helped to reach an acceptable compromise.
- You know that the individual agreement takes account of the other services that are provided as part of your care package.
- A copy of your individual agreement is given to you, and also to your carer or representative if necessary, and with your permission.
Your service provider should ask you for feedback at the end of your Short Break or periodically if you have regular breaks. Some of the areas you might like to provide feedback on include:
- Was the short break available at the right time?
- Was the short break tailored to meet your needs?
- Were you given enough information before the break?
- Were you confident that the care and support needs were met?
- Was the short break a positive experience…Was it fun and would you want to do it again?
- What, if anything, would you do differently next time to make this a better experience?
- What, if anything, would you like the service provider to do differently to make this a better experience?