Quality statement 2: Plan for missed or late visits

Quality statement

Older people using home care services have a home care plan that identifies how their home care provider will respond to missed or late visits.

Rationale

Missed home care visits can have serious implications for an older person's health and wellbeing and providers should make it a priority to avoid them. Late home care visits can also be a problem if it means the person's needs cannot be met. An older person may not be able to alert others when a missed or late visit occurs. It is therefore important to ensure a back-up plan is in place so that the older person stays safe and they and their carers are kept informed if a visit is going to be missed or delayed.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local processes to ensure that older people using home care services have a home care plan that identifies how their home care provider will respond to missed or late visits.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

a) Proportion of older people using home care services who have a home care plan that identifies how their home care provider will respond to missed or late visits.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who have a home care plan that identifies how their home care provider will respond to missed or late visits.

Denominator – the number of older people using home care services.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Proportion of planned home care visits for older people that are missed.

Numerator – the number in the denominator that are missed.

Denominator – the number of planned home care visits for older people.

Outcome

a) Older people's satisfaction with the reliability of their home care service.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Safety incidents among older people related to missed or late home care visits.

Data source: Local data collection. The Health and Social Care Information Centre's Safeguarding adults annual report 2014–15 includes data on referrals made as a result of neglect and omission, and the source of risk including social care support.

What the quality statement means for service providers, social care practitioners and commissioners

Service providers (such as independent home care agencies, voluntary sector organisations and local authorities) ensure that older people using home care services have a back-up plan to be actioned if a missed or late visit cannot be avoided, that includes how they will communicate with the older person and their carers (if appropriate). Providers should ensure that they monitor missed or late visits and report this to the commissioner.

Social care practitioners (such as home care workers and personal assistants) ensure that they are aware of the back-up plan for responding to missed or late visits for the people they provide home care to and put the plan into action if a visit is late or missed.

Commissioners (for example local authorities and clinical commissioning groups) commission home care services that ensure that older people have a back-up plan to be actioned if a missed or late visit cannot be avoided. Commissioners should ensure that providers monitor missed or late visits and discuss how they responded at contract monitoring meetings.

What the quality statement means for people using home care services and carers

Older people who use home care services have a plan for what their home care provider will do if a visit is late or missed to ensure that they stay safe. The plan will include details of who will come if a home care worker misses a visit (for example a family member, carer or neighbour).

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Home care plan

This is a written plan put together after the local authority assessment of overall need. It sets out the home care support that providers and the person have agreed will be put in place. It includes details of both personal care and practical support.

[Home care: delivering personal care and practical support to older people living in their own homes (NICE guideline NG21)]

Plan for missed or late visits

A plan for responding to missed or late visits should include:

  • how and when a missed or late visit will be communicated to the older person or their carers

  • emergency contact details

  • arrangements for a family member, carer or neighbour to visit instead

  • an assessment of risk and what should happen if a visit is late or missed.

[Adapted from Home care: delivering personal care and practical support to older people living in their own homes (NICE guideline NG21), recommendations 1.4.12 and 1.4.15]

Equality and diversity considerations

Home care providers should recognise that older people living alone or those who have cognitive impairment may be particularly vulnerable if visits are late or missed. Providers should therefore make it a high priority for back-up plans to be actioned as soon as possible for these specific groups.