In this section

Once a potential resident and their representatives have completed their initial research, it is likely that they will have identified a shortlist of care homes in which they are particularly interested. Before making a final decision, they will visit those homes and further engage with you and your staff to decide which home is best for them. 

The important, additional information about your home must be given to a potential resident and their representatives when they want or need it, and ‘in good time’ before you make them an offer of a place – this means that it must be provided, at the latest, by the time they agree to have a care needs assessment.

It is at this stage that you may also need to give them more tailored information about your home, too. For example, this may involve:

  • Any specific requirements you may have following a discussion about their finances
  • Any other special conditions they must satisfy before they can be offered a place

The important, additional information should be easily accessible to people from the start of their research – including on your website. You should also take active steps to provide the information to potential residents and their representatives and do so in sufficient time for them to be able to consider it before they agree to have a care needs assessment. Examples of what information this includes are set out on the following pages.

In ‘good time’

Providing important, additional information in ‘good time’ means that it must be provided – at the latest – by the time the potential resident and their representatives agree to have a care needs assessment. This is because, whilst a person’s commitment to a home will grow during the course of their dealings with the home, starting with first contact, once they have agreed to a care needs assessment, they are likely – for all practical purposes – to be fully committed to securing a place in your care home.

Where you fail to provide this information clearly and accurately, or where you provide it late in the admissions process, this could result in the resident choosing a home that is unsuitable for their needs when they would not otherwise have done so, infringing consumer law. Examples of when you will infringe consumer law include where you:
  • Provide the information after the resident has already agreed to have a care needs assessment
  • Provide the information just before the resident is asked to sign a contract
  • Provide the information after they have already moved in

How your important, additional information should be provided online

Your important, additional information should be easy for people to find and access on your website. For example, it could be provided using either:

  • A clearly labelled icon/tab on the home page navigation menu, which takes people to a page where the information is clearly set out; or
  • Prominent weblinks on your home page that take a potential resident or their representatives to the important, additional information identified by the CMA

The CMA says...

In addition to engaging in misleading practices under consumer law, you are also likely to be infringing specific sector regulations or failing to follow guidance from your sector regulator.

For example, in England, Regulation 19 of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009 is intended to ensure that care homes give timely and accurate information about the cost of care and treatment to people who use care home services.

If important, additional information is placed on webpages that can only be found by using an online search facility, or which are otherwise hard to navigate or find, it is unlikely that you will be complying with consumer law and you will need to fix this.

Remember, important, additional information about your home should be given to a potential resident and their representatives earlier in the process – for example, on first contact – if they want or ask for it.

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