People who are considering moving into a care home or whose needs are being considered as best met in a care home, for whatever reason, are entitled to receive:

  • full information on what the care home has to offer, including where the admission is being effected as a matter of urgency

  • opportunities, with anyone acting on their behalf also, to visit the care home before deciding if it is right for them, or

  • have someone from or representing the care home visiting them if they cannot visit themselves

  • a “trial period” of living in the home after which they can decide to remain longer or permanently, assuming that the home also is able and agrees to meet their needs

  • a contract covering any preparatory period that complies with consumer law.

Care providers should meet these conditions under the different circumstances in which they might apply, notably when a person:

  • usually with the help of others is deciding to move into a care home if the right step to take

  • has decided or agreed to move into a care home and is looking for the right one

  • has agreed to a short period in a care home to help make up their minds (in respect of either of the above)

  • requires a care home place at short notice, for example, after discharge from hospital, or in an emergency.

This topic discusses the care provider’s role and responsibilities in supporting people to make informed choices and decisions about moving into a care home in the long term or permanently. It links to several other topics.

The Covid-19 restrictions have meant that it has been difficult if not impossible for care providers to carry out all the introductory work that is recommended in normal times. However the alternative ways of providing information and discussing concerns that have been developed during the period of restrictions could well become useful tools for continuing use.

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