Relatives: Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled these FAQs from regular enquiries to our Referrals and Care Teams. If you can’t find an answer to the question you’re looking for, please call us on 0203 195 0151 or email enquiries@choicecaregroup.com.

Our Services
What care services does Choice Care provide?

Choice Care provides a comprehensive range of services from high acuity residential care to more flexible supported living solutions. We offer expertise across a wide range of complex needs and specialist conditions, including caring for people with behaviours that challenge. You can find out more on the Care Services page.

How can I find my nearest Choice Care service?

You can search for your nearest Choice Care services on the Find a Service page.

Does Choice Care provide secure facilities?

No, we do not provide secure or forensic inpatient services.

Does Choice Care provide children’s services?

Choice Care provides services for adults over 18. However, we can consider individuals from 16 years of age under certain circumstances, if we have a suitable vacancy. 

Our Homes
What’s included in a residential care package?

All our homes offer a safe, supportive and therapeutic environment, equipped to the highest standards, with 24-hour support and specialist care. Residential care packages include: accommodation, including private bedrooms (usually ensuite) and communal areas; all meals; specialist treatment and clinical support, including one-to-one interaction; tailored daily activity programmes; regular social events, at the home or in the community; where appropriate, support for educational and vocational learning; transport for outings, visits and scheduled activities; and a weekly allowance for day-to-day expenses. You can find out more on Residential Care page.

What are the pros and cons of residential care?

When considering the right kind of care for a loved one, it’s not terribly helpful to think in terms of ‘pros and cons’. The ‘right’ type of care is whatever meets the needs of the individual concerned best, at that particular time in their life.

Residential homes offer a safe, therapeutic environment for people with complex needs who are not yet ready, or unable, to live more independently. Trained staff, who get to know the people they support very well, are on hand at all times to provide personalised support and specialist care as required. Good homes have a real sense of community; there are other residents to socialise with, shared facilities and a range of organised activities to build skills and self-confidence. Residential care is also all-inclusive – meals, accommodation, care services, a household and personal allowance, most activities and transport are all directly funded – which keeps clear and simple. Residential care providers must be registered with the Care Quality Commission and undergo regular inspections to ensure they meet statutory requirements.

For some people who are capable of a more independent lifestyle, a residential home could seem more restricted, with less private space, and less personal choice in who they live with and how they spend their time and money. In these circumstances, if appropriate to the individual’s needs, a supported living service may be more suitable.

What facilities do your homes provide?

Our homes provide a safe, supportive environment with 24-hour support and specialist care. They offer private furnished bedrooms (usually ensuite), communal kitchens and lounges (often including a designated ‘quiet’ lounge) with sofas, TVs, games consoles, computers and internet access, and gardens or other outdoor space. As appropriate, homes incorporate a variety of supporting assistive technologies.

All our homes have a Day Activity Coordinator who develops personalised activity programmes; there are also games and hobby and sports equipment for residents to use. Residents have access to a range of local community leisure and entertainment facilities, as well as support into education, voluntary or paid work. We provide transport for out-of-home activities and regular outings and trips.

How many people live in each of your residential homes?

We provide a variety of accommodation types. Typically our residential homes support 4-13 people with similar care requirements.

Does Choice Care provide single-sex accommodation?

Yes, a number of our homes are single-sex, for male or female residents. You can find out more about homes in your area on the Find a Service page.

Are staff based at the homes 24 hours a day?

Yes, there are trained support staff at all our homes 24 hours a day. Staff don’t live in the homes, we operate a shift pattern with sleep-in or waking staff, dependent on the needs of the people in our care.

What is the ratio of staff to residents?

Typically, the ratio is one staff member for every three people as core support. Any one-to-one (or two-to-one) hours that an individual is provided are in addition to this. Most homes also have two waking night staff.

Are all the staff in your homes fully qualified?

Effective training is critical to delivering best-in-class care. All our staff achieve statutory qualifications. New employees complete a comprehensive induction programme, after which they complete their Care Certificate. We then provide a wide range of industry-leading learning and development programmes on an ongoing basis, combining mandatory courses with specialist training specific to the individual needs of those in their care.

Supported Living
What is supported living, and how does it differ from residential care?

Supported living services provide care for those in their own or rented accommodation, who want to live as independently as possible while still being able to rely on the individual support they need. This kind of support is ideal for those with capacity and ability who still need help with day-to-day tasks and activities, including those ready to move on from a residential home or special needs education. However people with profound or multiple complex needs can also benefit from a supported living environment, with care packages ranging from a few hours a week to 24/7 support.

Unlike residential care, in supported living, personal care and accommodation are provided under separate contractual arrangements. Housing is generally provided through the local authority or a registered housing association, care through a specialist provider. The funding authority meets the cost of care direct, and the individual pays for housing, household and personal expenses, through personal benefits or earnings.

If you need help finding accommodation, or simply want to understand more about how supported living services work, you can contact our Referrals Team on 0203 195 0151, who are happy to answer any questions, or connect you with the relevant local authority resources in your area.

You can also find out more on the Supported Living page.

What’s included in a supported living package?

In supported living, personal care and accommodation are provided under separate contractual arrangements. The care package will vary from just a few hours a week to 24/7 support, depending on individual needs. Supported living services can help with things like learning new skills for independence, shopping, cooking and menu-planning, personal care and managing medication, accessing employment and local community activities, finance and managing money. 

Importantly supporting living packages do not include rent or accommodation, household and personal bills, activities, transport or any specialist equipment, such as assistive technologies, the individual requires. 

What are the pros and cons of supported living?

When considering the right kind of care for a loved one, it’s not terribly helpful to think in terms of ‘pros and cons’. The ‘right’ type of care is whatever meets the needs of the individual concerned best, at that particular time in their life.

Supported living services provide care for those in their own or rented accommodation, who want to live as independently as possible while still being able to rely on the individual support they need. Care packages are flexible, ranging from a few hours a week to 24/7, live-in support, and many specialist supported living environments are shared by people with similar conditions, provide a similar community feel to a residential home. Supported living arrangements tend to provide the individual with greater choice, over where they live, who they live with, and what they do with their time and money.

Importantly, in supported living, personal care and accommodation are provided under separate contracts. Housing is generally provided through the local authority or a registered housing association, care through a specialist provider. The funding authority meets the cost of care direct, but the individual must pay for accommodation, household and personal expenses, through personal benefits or earnings. That also means that some activities provided through supported living services must be paid for.  

For some people with more complex needs, or who lack the skills confidence to live more independently, a residential care environment may be more suitable.

How do I access supported living accommodation?

Our Referrals Team can help you find the right solution. You can contact us on 0203 195 0151 or at referrals@choicecaregroup.com.

Who pays for supported living services?

In supported living, personal care and accommodation are provided under separate contractual arrangements. The funding authority meets the cost of care direct, and the individual pays for housing, household and personal expenses, either through personal benefits or income from employment.

Complex Needs Supported
Which conditions does Choice Care provide support for?

You can find a full list of the conditions we support on the People We Support page.

Do you support people with behaviours that challenge?

Yes, we support people with a wide range of complex needs, including those with conditions that challenge. Our Positive Behaviour Support Team takes a flexible, person-centred approach to reducing challenging behaviour. We focus on understanding the reasons for the behaviour, altering the situation if necessary and encouraging more appropriate methods of communication. You can find a full list of the conditions we support on the People We Support page.

Does Choice Care support people with acquired brain injuries?

Yes, although we don’t operate homes dedicated to acquired brain injury, we have experience in supporting people with an ABI. Our offer of care and support depends on how the injury affects the individual on a daily basis and the fit with the other people we support in any particular service. We would suggest a suitable solution following assessment.

Referral and Assessment
Who can make a referral to Choice Care?

Referrals come to us from a wide variety of sources, including placement breakdowns, Special Education Needs schools, residential colleges and individuals looking to leave the family home for the first time. Referrals can be made by a social worker, care manager or the individual’s parents, although the care manager acting on behalf of that individual must be consulted before an assessment can take place. You can find out more on the Referrals page.

How do I make a referral?

To make a referral, please call 0203 195 0151, email referrals@choicecaregroup.com or visit the Referrals page.

What happens during the assessment process?

Our assessment process is designed to ensure we can offer a placement where the person we’ll be supporting can achieve the most positive outcomes. In each case, we look at the whole person to determine their suitability for a particular home or service. We consider their needs, abilities and personality, where they’d like to live, who they’d like to live with and what things are important in their lives. The aim is to ensure we can support them to achieve as much as possible, while leading a safe, happy and fulfilled life.

When we receive an enquiry, we review the individual’s high level care requirements to ensure we are able to provide appropriate support. If this is the case, the enquiry is passed to our Referrals Team, who arrange to meet the individual ,and typically their family, social worker and current support staff, to complete the assessment. During the conversation, we take into account everyone’s views, listen to the individual’s preferences, and then match their needs to the vacancies we have in our homes. 

If a suitable placement is available, we’ll arrange a visit to allow a chance to take a good look round, meet the Service Manager and the staff, as well as some of the other residents, to get a sense if it feels right. This can sometimes involve multiple visits and options. The manager meets the individual to help them decide if the placement is suitable. 

If everyone agrees the placement is right, we provide a fully-costed assessment to the funding authority for approval.

What is a person-centred assessment?

A person-centred assessment is based on the principle that the individual is at the centre of the assessment process, as the expert on their own life. The objective is to take account of the person’s wishes, preferences and goals, to promote their wellbeing and to identify, together with the individual and their close family or circle of support, how best to use care and support to achieve those outcomes.

What if I disagree with the assessment?

If an individual being assessed, a family member or their social worker disagrees with an assessment or any particular aspect of it, this would be reviewed with the Referrals Manager who wrote the original assessment to clarify all points with the aim of reaching agreement.

What is the waiting time for a placement?

Waiting times will vary depending on the current circumstances of the individual, their particular care requirements and vacancies at our services in the area. Our objective is always to avoid unsettling those involved with as smooth a transition period as possible. We are able to manage emergency placements where necessary. 

What if the referral is an emergency?

We recognise that sometimes a move has to be arranged very quickly. We’re able to offer emergency placements, often completing an assessment on the same day as an enquiry is received, while still ensuring the placement is entirely suitable and staff are able to provide the most appropriate support. To find our more, or make a referral, please call 0203 195 0151, email referrals@choicecaregroup.com or visit the Referrals page.

Care Planning
Who determines a person’s care needs?

Individual care needs are determined during the assessment process by our Referrals Team in combination with the individual themselves, their care worker and, where appropriate, close family. Suitability for a placement is also reviewed by our experienced Home and Service Managers, before passing to the funding authority for approval. Local authorities complete their own care needs assessment (CNA) and base the funding level on this.

What is a local authority Care and Support Plan?

Following an assessment, the relevant local authority will confirm how it will meet the eligible needs of an individual requiring support in a Care and Support Plan. The plan is a detailed document setting out what services will be provided, how they will meet the person’s needs, when they will be provided, and who will provide them. You are entitled to see a copy of your plan, the Care Act says that it must be person-centred and person-led, and the local authority should ensure that the individual concerned, and in complex needs cases their family or advocates, are happy with it before it is finalised. The plan is reviewed annually, or if circumstances change.

What is a personal Care Plan?

Everyone we support has their own personal care plan, tailored to their specific needs. Initially, we gather information at the assessment stage, from previous placements, the individual’s family and their care professional. This helps define precisely the support required. If they have capacity, sections of the plan are written by the person being supported themselves; if not these are completed by a close family member or advocate. Our Service Manager finishes the plan, detailing any potential risks to the individual and providing specific guidance on how to support them.

Once a person has moved into one of our homes, or is accessing a supported living service, their care plan will expanded and updated as staff get to know them better. The plan is reviewed annually and updated following any change in circumstances or medical professional input.

What happens if I am unhappy with the care plan proposed?

Care plans are developed in partnership with those we support, with individual needs at their core. If you believe your relative’s requirements are not being met, you should discuss your concerns with the Service Manager, who may also involve our Referrals Team. You can also raise the issue with your relative’s local authority care manager. It’s important to note that where appropriate care plans are agreed directly with the people we support, and individuals may not want others, even close relatives, involved in that process.

How often are their requirements reviewed or updated?

Individual care requirements are reviewed on an ongoing basis, with any changes discussed at team meetings. A formal review involving the individual’s circle of support is completed annually

Funding
How do local authorities determine eligibility for funding?

Local authorities each have their own eligibility criteria, based on the national criteria outlined in the Care Act. Authorities complete a Care Needs Assessment (CNA) and base their funding on its results. Our own assessment enables us to provide a cost for the appropriate package of care, which we discuss with the funding authority. The costed package is reviewed by a local authority commissioning panel to get funding approved. 

Who pays for Choice Care’s services?

Our care services are funded either by the relevant local authority or in some cases the NHS. On occasion, individuals or their families choose to access our supported living services direct.  

What is a personal budget?

A personal budget is the total amount of money provided by a local authority to pay for the care and support that meets an individual’s needs, whether this support is provided by the local authority itself, through a third party organisation such as a care provider or charity, paid as a direct payment to the individual concerned, or a combination of these approaches. The personal budget must be sufficient to meet the cost of all an individual’s eligible needs, as set out in their Care and Support Plan.

Do people in Choice Care homes receive a personal allowance?

Yes, each person in residential care receives a weekly allowance to cover the cost of any personal needs.

The people we support use and manage their own money as and when they choose. Of course, some people need help managing their financial interests, but this support never overrides their right to access their money or to decide how and when they wish to spend it. Money is never withheld because staff disagree with someone’s decisions.

Where someone lacks capacity to express their needs, care staff and the people making financial decisions on their behalf work together to ensure that any available personal funds are used to enhance the person’s quality of life. Even if someone is unable to understand certain aspects of their financial situation, they are still involved as much as possible in choosing how their money is spent.

What benefits can I apply for?

People with learning disabilities and other complex conditions are entitled to the same benefits as anyone else. In addition, those between 16 and 64 are typically eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to help with the extra costs caused by a disability. PIP is awarded according to how the disability affects an individual’s ability to carry out certain specified activities, and what help they need with those activities. It’s based on a points system. Eight points triggers the Standard rate, and 12 the Enhanced rate for daily living and/or mobility. PIP is tax free and is not means tested. You can find out more about PIP at https://www.gov.uk/pip.

Those with disabilities may also be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). ESA is for people over 16 who have a disability or a long term health problem that restricts their ability to work. You can learn more at https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance

How can I challenge a funding decision?

If you want to challenge a funding decision, for instance if a personal budget is reduced or is insufficient to cover the costs of support, you should start by raising the issue in writing to the Director of Adult Services at the funding authority, requesting a Mandatory Reconsideration. Individual authorities have their own specific complaints procedures, but always ensure you explain how the decision will impact the individual concerned. You can also ask for an explanation of how the decision was reached.

If you’re not happy with the response you receive from the local authority, you can then complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. The Ombudsman investigates complaints where a local authority may have made an incorrect decision. They can recommend a review.

A solicitor can tell you if a judicial review may be possible. A judicial review is the way that people can challenge the lawfulness of a decision made by a public body such as a local authority. 

You might also consider writing to your MP, who can intervene on behalf of a constituent.

Mencap has produced a helpful guide for families looking to challenge a decision.

Transition
My family member is in a special needs school, what happens when they leave?

Leaving school is an important time for any young adult; perhaps even more so for those with complex learning disabilities or mental health conditions. The transition from children’s to adults’ services combines a change of care services and professionals at precisely the time the person is also facing wider changes to their life.

Transition should, however, be planned well in advance. If a young person is likely to have needs when they reach 18, a member of the local authority transition team will be involved with their school to discuss options from Year 9, at age 13-14. Each pupil will have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which details their needs and plans for the future; this is updated every year. 

There should be no gap in services. In England, when the transition between children’s and adults’ services takes place, the local authority continues to provide the individual with any children’s services they were receiving throughout the assessment process.

At transition, needs are considered and a suitable arrangement identified, whether in supported living, residential or in the family home. Should residential care be determined as the right solution, a provider such as Choice works closely with the individual’s school, family and the individual themselves to ensure as smooth a transition process as possible.

How do you ensure the transition to a Choice Care home runs as smoothly as possible?

With all parties agreed that a placement in one of our homes is the best choice for your relative, and funding is approved, we develop a tailored  Transition Plan to help make the move as smooth and welcoming as possible. Your Referrals Manager is responsible for overseeing the process, and you can contact them at any time with any concerns and questions you have. 

They’ll organise a Transition Meeting where everyone can plan the move together, including agreeing how many visits your relative may need to get to know and feel comfortable with staff and housemates, whether they’d like an overnight stay before moving in, whether any adaptations need to be made to the home environment and if staff need any new training to support them. 

Everyone in our homes has a keyworker – a member of staff with particular responsibility for their welfare. Your relative’s keyworker will take extra time to get to know you and them, visiting their current placement, shadowing staff and working to ensure a successful transition. A dedicated practitioner from our Positive Behaviour Support Team will also work with the home during and after your relative’s transition period to monitor their emotional and mental wellbeing. 

Transfers
My relative’s placement isn’t right for them. How can I arrange a transfer?

If you believe your relative’s placement with Choice is unsuitable, the Service Manager and our Referrals Team will discuss your concerns with you, and if appropriate investigate transfer options. 

If your relative is currently supported by another care provider, and they are unable or unwilling to offer an alternative placement, you can contact your funding authority and request a reassessment, stating that you believe it is in their best interests to be moved. During the reassessment process, you can explain to the social worker why your relative is not getting the care they need and the potential consequences if they remain where they are. If you feel the situation is reaching a crisis point, and believe the local authority is not acting to address the situation, you can approach a community care solicitor. If the dispute is about what is in their best interests, and agreement cannot be reached, then it may be necessary for the matter to be considered by the Court of Protection.

My relative is currently cared for too far from home. How can I challenge this?

If you are unhappy with the location of a family member’s placement at Choice Care, the Service Manager and our Referrals Team will investigate transfer options. If no vacancies are available closer to home, you can contact your funding authority and request a transfer. The process will be similar if your relative is currently supported by another care provider. To see our current vacancies, please visit the Service Vacancies page.

Can someone in residential care move on to supported living?

Yes, we have a proven track record of helping people who are able to move along the pathway from a residential setting to a more independent environment as their needs evolve.

How long does a transfer take?

Transfer schedules will vary depending on individual circumstances, their particular care requirements and vacancies at our services in the area. If there is a suitable vacancy and funding is in place it can be very quick, but it may take up to several months.

Family and Friends
How does Choice Care involve the relatives of the people you support?

Involving families in the referral, assessment and care planning process is a critical part of ensuring that the people we support get the care they need. Your views will be listened to carefully at each stage of the process by all those involved in your relative’s care, and with your relative’s consent, each time their needs are reviewed. 

As part of the transition process, we will discuss with you exactly how you would like to be communicated with and how often. Managers and staff communicate regularly with families and are available by phone and email. Families are free to visit our homes at any time, and arrangements can be made for you to take your relative for a home visit. By letting us know beforehand, we can make sure they are fully prepared. 

How do you communicate with relatives?

As part of the transition process, we will discuss with you exactly how you would like to be communicated with and how often. Managers and staff in individual services communicate regularly with the close families of the people they support, and are available by phone and email. Relatives can also keep in touch with news from Choice Care by registering for our email newsletters, via the Our Stories page on this website and by joining our Facebook and Twitter communities.

Can I contact a home to speak to a family member?

Yes, you can contact your family member at any time, as long as they are happy to receive the call.

My relative is an adult. Will I still be kept regularly informed of their progress?

Yes, as long as they agree to your being informed. We believe sharing information is very important, but we also have to respect the wishes of the people we support. Where someone specifies we can’t share certain personal information, we are bound to respect this unless to do so would not be in their best interests and/or they have been assessed as lacking capacity themselves. However, on a day-to-day basis, we would expect to inform you about all significant events in your loved one’s life.

Leisure
What facilities for leisure and entertainment does Choice Care provide?

In every Choice Care home, we provide a wide range of engaging and meaningful activities, tailored to individual capabilities. Each home has a Day Activity Coordinator who develops personalised programmes. There’s lots to get involved in and enjoy, from daily activity schedules, sports and leisure and social events, to projects and competitions and regular outings and trips.

During down time, homes have communal lounges with sofas, TVs, games consoles, computers and internet access. There are games and hobby and sports equipment for residents to use. Everybody also has access to a variety of community-based leisure and entertainment facilities, including local shops, sports and leisure centres, cinema, community organisations and volunteering groups, pubs, clubs and restaurants, as well as the opportunity for religious worship. You can find out more by visiting the Activities & Events page.

Who pays for the activities?

The majority of activities provided in our residential homes, including out-of-home transport, are included in the care package. The cost of activities arranged as part of a supported living service may need to be met by the individual.

What if someone wants to participate in an activity or pursuit not normally catered for?

We are always open to new ideas for activities for the people we support, although it may not be possible to fund them ourselves.

Do the people you support get to go on holiday, and who pays?

Yes, holidays are an important part of the support we provide, and for those living in care, can represent a significant achievement as well as being very rewarding. In the last year over two-thirds of the people we support enjoyed a holiday, by themselves or as part of a group, including caravan holidays, weekends away at attractions and theme parks, short breaks to Spain, a cruise to Bruges and a trip to Lapland to meet Santa.

An annual allowance is allocated towards the cost of each individual’s holiday. Additional costs, over and above the contribution from Choice Care,  including the cost of support staff, are then agreed with them or an appointee and others involved in the their care.

Education and Work
Does Choice Care provide special needs education services?

No, Choice Care is not an education provider.

Do you provide access to education and vocational training?

Yes, all our homes have an Activities Coordinator who develops personal education plans for those we support. Activities range from help with basic literacy and numeracy to computing, money management and general life skills to improve employability. Many of our homes and services work closely with local education facilities and around a quarter of those we support attend school or college courses. You can learn more on the Educational & Vocational Support page.

Do you help the people you support into work?

Yes, our relationships with local community colleges, employment agencies and businesses mean we can help individuals build skills and confidence, and provide a pathway into employment, both voluntary and paid. You can learn more on the Educational & Vocational Support page. 

Healthcare and Medical Support
How does Choice Care ensure the general health and wellbeing of the people you support?

We develop individually tailored Health Action Plans for everyone we support, covering all aspects of healthcare. Everyone has their own plan, and staff ensure that all appropriate health checks are completed as required. We work closely with local healthcare authorities and a variety of healthcare professionals to ensure the healthcare needs of all those we support are met, including managing medical appointments, and regular medical and dental check-ups. We also work with speech and language therapists, professional physios, psychiatrists as well as our own internal Positive Behaviour Support Team. Where appropriate, our service managers can provide support with making referrals to other health services.

Personal care plans provide guidance on exercise and diet. Where appropriate, individuals are encouraged to get involved in preparing meals to help build knowledge of nutrition and healthy eating.

Does Choice Care provide medical or nursing services?

No. Where an individual has specific healthcare requirements, these are provided through local healthcare services. 

What if my family member needs support from health services as well as a care provider?

We work closely with local healthcare authorities and a variety of healthcare professionals to ensure the healthcare needs of all those we support are met, including managing medical appointments, and regular medical and dental check-ups. Where appropriate, our service managers can provide support with making referrals to other health services. Our staff will also help administer prescription medication or support individuals to self-medicate.

Your Rights
Does my family member have a right to an assessment?

Yes, if you believe your family member requires support in any way, you should contact your local authority’s adult social services department and request a needs assessment. If necessary, the local authority has the power to provide urgent support before starting an assessment and while the assessment is carried out.

Does the local authority have a duty to meet my family member’s needs?

Yes, the local authority has a duty to meet all of your family member’s needs, providing they are eligible for support following an assessment. During the assessment process, a local authority social worker, in combination with a care provider, will determine an individual’s needs, centred around the person themselves and, whenever appropriate, including a close family member. Assessment will refer to the national ‘eligibility criteria’ as laid out in the Care Act. Provided that your relative’s needs are ‘eligible’ for support under these criteria, the local authority is duty-bound to meet those needs.

How do you support the rights of privacy of the people you support?

The people we support have a right to privacy and our staff respect this right at all times. Our Privacy Policy outlines how we protect the privacy of those we support in terms of private space, CCTV and recordings, and the confidentiality of sensitive information. 

Can someone be excluded from a home because of their behaviour?

If your family member is eligible, they have the right to access care and support. If they are prone to behaviour that challenges, they may require support from a specialist care provider, such as Choice Care, with access to a Positive Behaviour Support Team. Not all care providers have these capabilities around behaviours that challenge, and it may be appropriate to transfer your relative to one that does. Ultimately your relative cannot be ‘excluded’ from the care they need. The local authority or NHS is under an obligation to meet their needs by finding another suitable placement

Does my relative have a right to be transferred if they are unhappy with their placement?

If your family member is unsettled or unhappy in their placement, this will impact their wellbeing and potential to achieve positive outcomes. In the first instance their care provider is obliged to work closely with the individual, and their close network, to establish the underlying reasons for their distress, including their physical and emotional needs, and seek to resolve them. It could be that a transfer is part of the recommended solution. 

If you believe your family member’s placement is not suitable for their needs you can contact the funding authority and request a reassessment, including that it is in their best interests to be moved. During the reassessment process, you can explain to the social worker why your relative is not getting the care they need and the potential consequences if they remain where they are. If you feel the situation is reaching a crisis point, and believe the local authority is not acting to address the situation you can approach a community care solicitor. If the dispute is about what is in their best interests, and agreement cannot be reached, then it may be necessary for the matter to be considered by the Court of Protection.

My relative is nearing 18, how do their rights change?

Under the law every adult over 18, whatever their disability, has the right to make their own decisions, where they have capacity to do so, and should be supported to do so wherever possible. Under recent Special Educational Needs legislation, young people become primary decision makers about their educational support from the age of 16. If the young person has capacity to make these decisions it does not mean parents cannot be involved – young people can continue to have their parents involved as much as they want. 

The Mental Capacity Act (2005), which applies to all people over 16, also recognises that some people may not have the mental capacity to make their own decisions, in which case others may decide what’s in that person’s best interests. A person may have capacity to make some of the decisions in their life but not all of them; deciding if someone has capacity is always decision-specific. So, family members can continue to make many decisions for their adult child in their best interests. However, this will not automatically be the case in all aspects of their child’s life. 

Importantly, the Mental Capacity Act requires professionals to consult with family members when an adult lacks the mental capacity to make a decision for him or herself. Family members can challenge professionals if they feel that they are not being involved. Ultimately, families can refer matters to the Court of Protection if they feel that their involvement is being limited or decisions are being taken that are not in the family member’s best interests. A family member can seek legal power to make certain decisions, likes finances or welfare, on behalf of their adult child, including applying to become a Deputy through the Court of Protection. 

Safeguarding and Quality Assurance
How do you assure the quality of your services?

Quality of care, good governance and the delivery of successful outcomes are central to our purpose and embedded in the ethos of the organisation. Our care & safety standards exceed statutory requirements and are underpinned by rigorous internal and independent audit processes.

We apply a structured framework for quality control that starts with individual services. Experienced Managers oversee qualified care teams following consistent quality procedures. The performance of each service is regularly monitored by Regional Directors and our Quality Team, reporting directly to senior management. Independent inspection and our annual Quality Assurance Review provide an objective assessment of progress and improvement. Find out more by visiting the Quality Standards page.

Who is responsible for quality in your organisation?

Quality is the responsibility of our Quality Team, led by Martin Prescott, Director of Quality.

How regularly are your services inspected?

Each month, a senior manager visits every service to review their records and speak to the people we support and staff, to monitor how well that service is meeting individual needs. Out-of-hours, unannounced visits are conducted regularly by the senior management team to ensure everyone in the service is safe and well supported. A running programme of inspections, aligned with the Fundamental Standards, is completed by our Quality Team. A report with an action plan is produced, which the manager completes. We maintain a database to monitor compliance from these inspections.

Are Choice Care services independently inspected?

Yes, all our services are registered with and inspected by the Care Quality Commission, the regulatory body responsible for health and social care services in England.

How can I see the results of your inspections?

You can access the latest reports for all our services by visiting the Quality Standards page, or as part of the service profiles available in Find a Service.  

What is Positive Behaviour Support?

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is a person-centred approach to supporting people who display or are at risk of behaviours which challenge. It involves understanding the reasons for the behaviour and considering the person as a whole - including their life history, physical health and emotional needs - to identify ways of supporting them. Choice Care has its own in-house PBS team who work closely with our homes to monitor the behavioural, emotional and psychological needs of those we care for. Find out more on the Specialist Approaches page.

How do you measure the progress of the people you support?

Delivering successful outcomes is at the heart of our business. We monitor individual behavioural, emotional and psychological needs, and work closely with health and social care professionals, the people we support and their families, to ensure we provide the appropriate level of care at all times. Specifically we use Department of Health recognised measurement tools such as The Recovery Star. You can find out more on the Positive Outcomes page.

About Choice Care
How long has Choice Care been providing specialist care?

We have been providing specialist care for over 25 years. Choice began delivering services to people with learning disabilities and complex needs in 1992.  

Is Choice Care a charity?

No. Choice Care - Community Homes Of Intensive Care and Education (CHOICE) Limited - is a privately owned company.

Who owns Choice Care?

Our parent company is iCON Infrastructure. iCON is an independent investment group with an established track record of successful investments in high quality national infrastructure assets. iCON is committed to supporting Choice Care in an ongoing programme of development, ensuring we can provide much needed homes and services for vulnerable adults in the areas where we operate.

What is the Choice Care Group?

Choice Care, and Choice Care Group are trading names of Community Homes of Intensive Care and Education (CHOICE) Limited.

Who should I contact if I want to make a complaint?

You can learn about our Complaints Policy, and how to report your concerns, on the Reporting Concerns page. We welcome all complaints as an opportunity to learn, adapt, improve and provide better services.

How do I whistleblow?

You can contact us confidentially on 07990 772469 or 07904 527674 or by emailing your concerns to whistleblowing@choicecaregroup.com. You can find out more about our whistleblowing process on the Reporting Concerns page.

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