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Stay #TempAware During the Heatwave

aqua-3543817_640As the great British summer continues to surprise with endless scorching rays, the care Quality Commission is calling on those who work or volunteer in health and adult social care services to be #TempAware so that older citizens, and people living with disabilities or in vulnerable circumstances, stay cool and are appropriately supported.

Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said: “While many of us are enjoying the heatwave, the risks of overheating and not getting enough to drink are much greater for older people and people in vulnerable circumstances.

“That is why it is so important that those living in care homes and other health and care settings, particularly people living with long-term illnesses and complex conditions, are appropriately monitored and supported to maintain their usual health and wellbeing.

“Most of this is common sense – thinking about the environment and having person-centred care plans will help you to identify people at greatest risk and make sure they have the support they need.

“There’s also lots of good advice available from Public Health England and NHS England in the Heatwave Plan for England including specific advice for care homes as well as hospital services. Information published by the Care and Support Alliance has a useful section on extreme weather conditions too.

“So, let’s enjoy the summer sunshine but let’s prepare and be #TempAware too.”

Our quality assessments of health and care services focus on the importance of people experiencing a safe environment that is responsive to their personal needs. This includes considering the building temperature, how individual hydration and nutritional requirements are being met – and is all underpinned by the clear guidance we use.

When asking whether a care home is ‘safe’, we want to see evidence of:

·       How risks to people are assessed and their safety monitored and managed so they are supported to stay safe and their freedom is respected.

·       How is equipment, which is owned or used by the provider, managed to support people to stay safe?

·       How are the premises and safety of communal and personal spaces (such as bedrooms) and the living environment checked and managed to support people to stay safe?

·       How does the provider manage risks where they provide support in premises they are not responsible for?

When asking whether a hospital or other healthcare service is ‘safe’, we want to see evidence of:

·       How do systems, processes and practices keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse? Does the design, maintenance and use of facilities and premises keep people safe?

Spread the word on Twitter @CareQualityComm using the hashtag #TempAware.

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