In this section
The important, additional information should be given to a potential resident and their representatives in ‘good time’ before you make them an offer of a place in your home. This means that it must be provided – at the latest – by the time they agree to have a care needs assessment.
What is included in your important, additional information is explored below.
Where you require residents to complete a trial period, you should provide the following information:
- The length of the trial period
- The circumstances in which the trial period can be ended early by you or the resident
- Notice requirements
- Arrangements for the refunding of prepayments and any deposit
Funding arrangement changes
You should provide detailed information on your policies if a resident’s funding arrangements change while they are in your home. For example, in relation to residents who fund their own care, you should explain what might happen if:
- A resident becomes eligible for local authority funding during their stay in your home. For instance, you should explain what may happen if the local authority’s funding rate doesn’t cover your charges, or a third party top-up payment cannot be arranged through the local authority, and in particular whether you can:
- Ask the resident to move to a less expensive room in your home
- Terminate the resident’s contract and ask them to leave, in which case the local authority will move them to another home
- An existing resident who is funding their own care becomes eligible for Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding during their stay at your home. For example, you should explain:
- Whether your home accepts residents who are funded by CHC
- If so, whether you have the option of asking the resident to move to a less expensive room, or to leave the home if the CHC funding does not cover your charges, or the NHS-funding body decides to move them to a less expensive home that can meet their assessed clinical needs
You should provide information about your complaints handling procedure and also give the name and contact details of any alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider that you use. This could include:
- Local mediation or conciliation services
- A trade association mediation
- Arbitration scheme
You should also state the circumstances in which you will submit to an ADR procedure – for example, if a resident has exhausted all avenues through your internal complaints procedure – and the contact details and role of the relevant Ombudsman service.
Terminating a contract
You should provide information about the reasons for which you or the resident may terminate the contract, and any conditions for ending the contract. This includes:
- The notice period required
- How the contract can be terminated – for example, in writing/by email
- Who should receive this notification – for example, care home manager
Under consumer law, you are also required to provide certain pre-contract information to potential residents (unless already apparent from the context). This includes your:
- Trading name
- Address at which you are established
- Phone number
- Email address
You should also supply details of how your home is regulated and by whom. Each nation in the UK has its own regulator for the care homes sector.
Details of who is registered as running your care home should be given, and whether a registered manager is currently in post. If there isn’t one, you should explain what alternative management arrangements are in place.
Your latest food hygiene rating should be provided to any potential resident and their representatives.
You should make it clear whether a resident must arrange their own insurance cover for personal belongings.
Where you do supply contents insurance for residents’ belongings, you should explain:
- The value of your insurance cover
- Details of what items are – and are not – included under your policy
- The amount of any excess payable by the resident
Contract/terms and conditions
Information about where potential residents and their representatives can find a copy of your standard (proforma/sample) contract/terms and conditions for self-funded residents.
Note that it is vital that a copy of your standard (proforma/sample) contract/terms and conditions for residents who pay for their own care has been provided to potential residents, their representatives and anyone else who will be party to the contract – at the latest – by the time they agree to have a care needs assessment, so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not your home is right for them. Your terms should therefore be easy for people to find. For example, a copy of your standard contract or resident’s agreement for those who pay for their own care should be:
- Clearly signposted on your website
- Included in information packs you send to enquirers
Where you accept residents who are part or fully funded by any public body, there will be a ‘placement contract’ between you and the public funding body, which will set out the terms of a resident’s placement. However, potential residents and their representatives will still need to understand the terms and conditions of their stay. For example, they should be given a pro-forma copy of any ‘residency agreement’ that they may be required to sign before agreeing to a care needs assessment. This should include – among other things – clear information about:
- Who is responsible for payment of fees
- The parties’ rights and obligations
- The terms and conditions of your service
This will enable them to make informed decisions about their care. To find out more about fair terms, see the Fair trading for care homes booklet on the Business Companion website.
Information about residents’ individual needs
You should also provide certain information that addresses people’s individual needs. This may include information about:
- Whether residents can bring their pets
- If they can choose a male or female carer
- Whether you can meet certain dietary or religious requirements
You should also provide any other information specifically required by sector-specific regulations, rules or guidance to help people make informed decisions – for example, if you are based in Wales, you should also provide the information set out in the Regulated Services (Registration) (Wales) Regulations 2017.