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Entry and departure to the service users home will have been agreed at the initial risk assessment and if a key safe is installed then the code will have been disclosed. Other ways of entry could be by being let in by a relative or family member and this should be advised by the carer’s office. This should also be documented in the care plan folder.
Agreed times and preferences in respect of entry and departure will also be documented in the care plan folder
Entry and departure will be usually by use of a key safe, a relative, home manager or the service user themselves. The service user will usually be expecting a visit by their carer who should always introduce themselves to the service user and show their identity card.
If the carer is unable to gain entry then they should ring their office and inform them of the problem.
The office will then attempt to contact the service user by telephone and if this is unsuccessful then a relative of registered key holder will be informed. In some cases it may be necessary to contact the emergency services if there is immediate cause for concern. These are the usual agreed ways of working in my organisation. It will be crucial to record and report any difficulties to the office so this information can be shared with others on a need to know basis.
If the carer finds themselves in an emergency situation after gaining entry then depending on the type of emergency then they should contact the appropriate emergency service and their office so the that the event/incident can be reported and recorded. The type of emergency could be that the service user or family member is seriously ill or has fallen, there may be a fire. In the case of a known self harming service user there could be a suicide attempt Health and safety procedures in respect of the carer and service user to be adhered to at all times
The carer should ensure that the house is securely locked and that any windows should be closed unless otherwise advised by the service user. Keys should be replaced in the key safe and the key safe should be cleared.
The carer should be mindful at all times and should they suspect a breach in security or feel that the entry procedure should be reviewed then they should discuss this with the service user and report any agreed changes of codes and discuss any change in entry routine with their Manager.
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