Frequently asked questions
How is Independence Homes regulated?
Our domiciliary care agency and our residential services are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). You may access our reports on the CQC website http://www.cqc.org.uk/
How do you monitor the quality of your services?
Our medical and operations teams are committed to providing consistent standards and a robust service. Our corporate and independent quality assurance (QA) mechanisms and policies ensure high standards are reviewed and maintained.
How are seizures monitored?
Seizures are monitored 24 hours a day through a combination of observation and alarm systems. Individual records are reviewed monthly (or sooner) by the epilepsy nurses who work closely with each individual’s neurologist and GP.
What are the protocols for administering medication?
Each individual has their own medication protocol.
How are changes to medication and dosages implemented?
Medication changes follow the written instructions of a consultant. Protocols are monitored by our specialist nurses or medical director. The instructions are implemented by senior staff. Our medical team work closely with each person’s neurologist so treatment changes can be made quickly if this is required.
What specialist epilepsy training is given to staff?
Our specialist epilepsy nurses provide comprehensive training to relevant staff on their induction and regularly following that. This includes monitoring and managing seizures, supporting service users with investigations and treatments, administering medication and understanding the impact epilepsy has on life. Each service also has staff trained to a senior level in medication administration.
How are staff educated on the potential side effects of medication changes?
Staff undertake mandatory training on side effects and drug interactions. When changes to medication are implemented, our epilepsy nurses brief staff on any potential side effects.
What alarm systems are in place?
Bespoke alarms are provided for every individual. These detect repetitive or abnormal movement, sound, respiratory rate, bed occupancy and moisture. The alarm connects to a pager that alerts staff. Alarms are personalised to an individual's seizures. Some people may also wear a fall alarm during the day.
What are your staff levels on each shift?
We provide appropriate levels of staff to support individual needs.
What emergency support is available at night?
We provide 24 hour waking care and support staff, as well as a peer network supported by on-call managers, who in turn receive support from a senior manager, medical team and directors providing cover 24 hours a day.
How are staff trained to manage challenging behaviour?
Staff complete accredited training in positive communication techniques and are monitored through supervisions and appraisals. Each service has a dedicated trainer to support with staff refresher training and updating their techniques.
At what point does challenging behaviour become too challenging for the service?
We have our own specialist behaviour staff and therapy team. Mandatory training for staff includes non-violent crisis intervention techniques, all service users are comprehensively assessed so that we are aware of all their needs. However, if an individuals behaviour means we are unable to protect them, or it places service users or staff at risk it may be necessary to withdraw our services. This is a last resort after intensive behaviour support has taken place. We would fully support the transition process to a more appropriate service.
Does behaviour monitoring take place?
We closely monitor service users displaying challenging behaviour, we endeavour to establish links between mood, behaviour, epilepsy and medication and act on our results. This is reviewed by senior staff and therapists.
What measures are taken to ensure safeguarding?
We follow safeguarding guidelines stating “everyone has the right to live without fear and to live a life free from harm and abuse”. We have policies on:
- How to prevent abuse
- How to take robust action when abuse is reported
- Empowering people to take risks and make choices
- Providing protection and support when and where it is needed
How do we balance safety and independence?
For each individual we constantly review this balance, involving the service user, their families and other professionals as necessary.