Keeping safe in care homes

How care homes and supported living make decisions about keeping you safe

A drawing of the coronavirus

Since coronavirus came, there have been lots of changes to the way we live.

A crowd o f people meeting up and a train with a red cross next to it

There have been new laws about meeting up in big groups, and not travelling too far.

a pair of soapy hands under a running hot tap

We have needed to do lots of things to keep ourselves safe, like washing our hands a lot and social distancing.

A woman wearing a face covering and a clear visor which goes over her whole face.

Support workers have been wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like gloves, face coverings and aprons.

A man holding up a sign which says 'New Measures' to people in a care home

If you live in supported living or a care home there may have been extra changes and rules at the place where you live.

A group of people in a care home

People who live in care homes or supported living sometimes need to follow extra rules and take care.

A woman sitting on a chair with her hand raised asking to go in the shared lounge as it is empty

For example:

  • Maybe you have to use the shared areas one at a time.
A woman visitor knocking on a front door with a red cross over the picture
  • Maybe you have not been allowed to have visitors at home, even when the law says people can have visitors.
A picture of two people outside a house meeting and shaking hands with a rule handbook next to them
  • Maybe there are extra rules about who you can visit, and what you must do when you come back.
Six silhouette head and shoulder pictures of different people circled around a question mark

Who makes the choices about the extra rules for care homes and supported living?

The houses of Parliament with Big Ben and a rule book next to it.

The government makes rules and advice that care home managers and supported living managers have to follow.

A green shield stopping the coronavirus germs next to a rule book

The rules say that care homes and supported living must work in a way that keeps people safe from coronavirus.

a woman thinking about what is right and what is wrong

To work out what they should do, the care home and supporting living managers have to do a risk assessment .

A risk assessment is when the managers work out the safest way to do the things that people want to do.

A woman thinking about someone falling over near a yellow slippery floor sign

A risk assessment thinks about what things could go wrong, and how to stop those things from happening.

A man thinking about the coronavirus in a house where people live together

A coronavirus risk assessment tries to stop people catching coronavirus when they live together.

a woman thinking about people moving through a building together

A coronavirus risk assessment may think about how people move around where they live, or how people come and go.

Two men sitting at a table having a meeting

The managers at the care home or supported living do the risk assessment.

Three different looking buildings

Every care home, or supported living, is different.

Three different looking buildings each having a different rule book beside them

So what the risk assessment says will be different in every care home or supporting living.

The houses of parliament next to a pile of rule books with a care home on the front cover

The government sets more rules for care homes than supported living.

A woman manager thinking about the books of rules for care homes

The managers of a care home have to think about these extra rules when they do a risk assessment.

A woman manager pointing to a white question mark on a blue background. On the card is also three other coloured squares with white question marks on them. One is red, another is  yellow and the third is green.

At the end of a risk assessment, the managers decide how to do things in the place where you live.

Two managers either side of a flip chart pointing to a picture of safe distancing with a green cross on it. Below that is a picture of several people on and around a sofa with a red cross next to it.

They will make decisions on how people move around in the place where you live

Two managers either side of a flip chart pointing to a picture with a green tick next to it of a two women as safe distance apart going into a room. Below that is a picture of a woman letting another woman into her house and both are near each other. This picture has a red cross next to it.

They will make decisions about how people can come and go from the place where you live.

Two managers pointing to a flip chart which has a green tick next to someone being allowed visitors. Below that picture is a red cross next to a picture of someone not being allowed visitors

They will make decisions about having visitors or going out to visit someone else.

A man wondering what is right or what is wrong.

How do I know if a decision about keeping me safe from coronavirus is right?

A manager thinking

Managers should think about these things when they make decisions:

A drawing of the coronavirus next to a red cross

They should think about how to stop people catching coronavirus.

A happy man with both thumbs up and smiling

They should also think about making sure people have a good and happy live, doing the things they want to do.

Five people in a meeting sitting around a table

The managers should ask what everyone thinks.

A man in a suit pointing to his ear and smiling

The managers should listen to what you want.

Three managers talking to three friends, one of which has a learning disability

Where it is the right thing to do, the managers should also speak to the people who are important to you, like your family and friends.

Five people in one house who all live together

The managers should think about the wishes and needs of everyone who lives there.

All the people who live in the same house have a green tick next to them to show they have equal rights with each other.

The managers should make sure that all the people who live there have equal rights .

A man in a wheelchair with his finger in the air and a light bulb drawing next to him

The managers should be willing to try new things and make things work where they can.

A man in a suit reading a booklet sitting at a desk

The managers should  make sure they understand all the government rules and advice.

A woman wearing a plastic apron, rubber gloves and a face covering next to a picture of a man having a swab test with his mouth open

The managers should think about using things like testing or PPE to make things safer.

A woman allowing another woman the freedom to walk into a room on her own

The managers should do everything they can to make sure you can move around and have your freedom.

A man smiling and showing another man a leaflet whilst explaining it to him

The managers should give you accessible information and explain things in a way that you can understand.

A woman in a suit sitting down talking to a man opposite her explaining something to him.

The managers should be really honest with you about what they can and can't do.

A young woman smiling with her hand in the air wanting to ask a question

You should feel encouraged to ask questions.

Three people showing they are not happy about a picture of two people 10 pin bowling with a red cross through it

There might be things you want to do that are not possible.

A man with his eyes closed and his fingers crossed making a wish, standing next to a man in a suit who has his finger to his ear listening

If that happens the managers should talk with you about what you could do instead.

A man shaking hands with someone in a crowd of people around them

You can speak to anyone who works in the place where you live about this.

A man in a suit smiling and waving

You should always feel able to speak to the managers.

A man shouting with a speech bubble

You should feel safe to speak up if something does not feel right.

A man in a suit with both thumbs up

You should feel encouraged to speak up about what is going well, so they can carry on getting it right.

A man with his hand on his  head looking worried and a question mark beside him

Who can I speak to if I am worried?

A woman in a wheelchair asking a question to someone who is kneeling down listening to them

If you are worried about something, or are not sure a decision is right, speak to someone about it.

A man shaking hands with a support worker, surrounded by other support workers.

You should feel able to speak to any of the people who work in the place where you live, like your support workers or managers.

A woman pointing to a member of staff on a chart which is full of pictures of all the members of staff

You should be able to choose the member of staff that you want to speak to.

A man with his palms raised upwards explaining something

You may prefer to speak to someone else:

five members of a medical care team

You could speak to the community learning disability team

A picture of a social worker smiling whilst talking on the telephone

You could speak to your social worker if you have one.

a picture of a female nurse in trousers

You could speak to a learning disability nurse.

A man talking to a supporter

You many want to speak to an advocate .

A woman talking on the phone with a support worker next to her

Your support workers should help you find an advocate.

A picture of six different people who are all smiling.

You could speak to friends and family.

A picture of a house and a set of keys

You could speak to your housing provider.

A woman waving a pointed finger at a man

Hopefully you can sort out any problems. but if you need to, you can make a complaint.

A booklet with the words 'Complaints Policy' written on it

Ask your support provider how to make a complaint where you live.

A worried man making a telephone call in front of a group of people who are standing behind a Safe Guarding shield

If you are worried that you are in danger, or at risk of abuse, you can call safeguarding.

Ask the other people on this list to help you to speak to the safeguarding team.

A woman with a clipboard and a man looking through a magnifying glass above the Care Quality Commission logo

You could speak to the Care Quality Commission if they come to inspect the place where you live.

A woman in a wheelchair talking on a red phone

If you want more advice or information you can call the learning disability helpline on 0808 808 1111.