SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to anyone living in a residential home operated by Hull City Council.

1. Principles

People living in Hull City Council’s directly provided residential care homes have the right to receive visitors of their choosing at any time they choose, but this right needs to be balanced against the rights of others to live in a harassment free environment and to peace and quiet during unsocial hours, such as during the night.

2. Procedural Steps

Step Action By Whom
1. Customers living in residential care will be offered whatever level and form of support they need to keep in touch with family and friends. This will usually be done by the person’s keyworker but can be done by any member of staff and may take the form of helping with telephone calls or letter writing, making sure birthdays are remembered and cards sent or facilitating outings with or to relatives and friends. Keyworker/ all staff
2. Visitors will be welcomed at all times that the customer wishes to see them, although staff must ensure the customer does wish to see them at that particular time. If visitors call at unsocial times, such as late at night, or at mealtimes, care must be taken that neither the person being visited nor other customers are disturbed or inconvenienced. This may be particularly important when the customer approaches the end of their life and they want their family with them. All staff
3. Staff must make sure that visitors sign the visitors book upon arrival and departure from the building. This is essential for security and for fire safety and provides a good opportunity for staff to greet the visitor and form a good working relationship with them. Visitors should be made aware of how to make a comment, compliment or complaint. All staff
4. If a visitor has displayed any kind of anti-social behaviour either towards a particular person or in general by their words or behaviour, they should not automatically be discouraged from visiting but must be made to understand that boundaries will be set. A positive risk assessment should be carried out which will set safe boundaries. These might set particular times when the person may visit, or stipulate a particular route the visitor must follow into the building and a particular room in which they must stay for the duration of the visit. If the behaviour of the visitor continues to cause alarm or distress to anyone, the risk assessment may find that the only option is to ask the person to stop visiting. If the customer still wishes to see their friend or relative, arrangements can be made to take the customer to visit them if it safe for them to do so. Any boundaries or restrictions on visiting should always be the least restrictive option, and work should be done with the customer and visitor to overcome the difficult behaviour so that boundaries around contact can be lifted. Keyworker/ all staff/ manager
5. Residents have the right to decline visits at any time, for any reason and staff should tactfully explain to the visitor that their relative or friend does not want the visit at that time. If they simply do not want a particular person to visit at all, this should be explained to the visitor and they should be asked not to call. There is a very delicate balance to be struck between conveying a customer’s wishes and becoming ‘piggy in the middle’ of family disputes. If a staff member feels they are being put in this position, they should discuss this with their manager who will try to negotiate an agreement with the customer about how to proceed. Keyworker/ all staff/ manager