1. Introduction

The service aims to be a good corporate citizen in all parts of its service delivery for adults with care and support needs, including its commitment to people who use its services, their family and friends, staff, partners, commissioners, regulators and the local communities in which services are based.

The principles encompassed in this policy cover all service areas, and have been developed and are reviewed in line with relevant legislation, regulations and standards.

The service supports these principles and the aim of this policy, which is to translate that support into guidelines and standards that set a common approach for service staff, and provide practical guidance for all.

2. Service Delivery

This policy sets out the minimum standards which the service expects from all staff in their work with service users, their family and friends, colleagues, partners, stakeholders and local communities.

2.1 Standards of Conduct

The service will conduct every aspect of its delivery of services with honesty, integrity and openness, respecting human rights and the interests of all parties.

It will conduct each aspect of the care and support that it offers to ensure that the principles within its mission statement are achieved for every individual who uses its services:

  • a pathway with an individual care and support plan;
  • a life that makes sense to each person;
  • access to a range of specialist services;
  • real day to day involvement and participation in living a full life;
  • opportunities to develop a range of skills based on choice and preference;
  • safety and security at home;
  • friendship and support at home and in the community;
  • opportunity to exercise choice and control in all aspects of life;
  • high quality living environments.

The service will not use or condone the use of corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse against service users, other members of staff or any other party (see also Preventing Abuse and Neglect). The service has disciplinary procedures for any member of staff whose conduct falls below the required standard. Where any abuse is suspected the service will raise a safeguarding alert with the local authority.

The service will respect the legitimate interests of third parties with whom it works in the course of service delivery.

It will maintain the highest standards of integrity; for example, it will not promise more than it can reasonably deliver or make commitments it cannot or does not intend to keep.

2.2 Equality and Diversity

See also Equality, Diversity and Human Rights.

The service is committed to equality of opportunity both in the provision of services to adults with care and support needs and their family and friends, and as an employer.

The service is committed to seeking continuous improvement and compliance with legislation based on the following principles:

  • everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect;
  • it will not discriminate on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity;
  • it will adopt fair and inclusive practices throughout its services and will seek to eliminate all prejudice, discrimination, bullying and harassment;
  • all employees have a personal responsibility for the practical application of this policy in their day to day activities and must support the policy at all times;
  • non-compliance with this policy will be treated seriously and will not be tolerated.

2.3 Health and Safety

The service is committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of all service users, staff, visitors and partners. People are its most important asset and it is committed to ensuring that all necessary arrangements are in place to make sure that it not only meet its legal requirements, but exceeds them, ultimately providing excellent safety standards across all business areas.

3. Staff

See Staffing chapters and Fit and Proper Persons and Nominated Persons.

The service:

  • is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for staff;
  • will strive to create a workplace in which there is mutual trust and respect and where every person feels responsible for the care and support of the people who use its services, and its performance and reputation;
  • will respect each individual member of staff and their rights, customs and traditions, as appropriate;
  • will work towards achieving a diverse workforce, recruiting, employing and promoting staff only on the basis of objective criteria and the qualifications and abilities needed for the post;
  • will maintain good communications with staff through its information and consultation procedures;
  • will assist staff in realising their potential through:
    • a training and development plan specific to the job that they do;
    • robust human resources processes;
    • continuous support, and regular supervision and appraisal;
    • effective leadership and performance management;
    • working in an environment that recognises and values individual contributions;
    • being part of a skilled, caring, motivated and conscientious team;
    • positive working environments.

The service will adhere to the following principles in respect of its staff:

  • pay a fair wage, and always meet the national minimum wage;
  • working hours shall not be excessive. They shall comply with legislation and national standards. It will not employ illegal workers or force overtime;
  • respect the right of its employees to choose whether or not to join a trade union without influence or interference from management;
  • have formal grievance procedures through which staff can raise personal and work-related issues.

4. Partners, Commissioners and Regulators

The service is committed to providing safe, value for money, high quality and accessible services to all parties with whom it works.

It will conduct operations in accordance with the principles of good corporate governance.

It will provide timely, regular and reliable information on its services to all its partners, commissioners and regulators as required.

It aims to develop strong relationships with all parties, based on mutual trust, understanding and respect.

In those dealings, it expects its partners to adhere to business principles consistent with its own.

All its services comply with the laws and regulations applicable wherever they do business. Appropriate training will be provided for staff as necessary.

4.1 Business Integrity

No employee shall offer, give, seek or receive, either directly or indirectly, inducements or other improper benefits for business or personal gain and no member of staff may offer, give, seek or receive any gift or payment which is, or could be construed as, such. If an employee is in any doubt as to whether he or she may accept an offer, they should discuss the issue with their line manager

Accounting, other records and supporting documents of the service must accurately describe and reflect the nature of the underlying transactions.

4.2 Conflicts of interest and confidentiality

Whilst the service respects the privacy of its employees, all employees are expected to avoid personal activities and financial interests which could conflict with their responsibilities to the service, and the people who use its services. Any actual or potential conflicts (including those arising from the activities or interests of close relatives or partners) should be disclosed to and discussed with the person’s line manager.

Information received by a member of staff in the course of his or her employment must not be used for personal gain or for any purpose other than that for which it was given.

Where information is confidential, that confidentiality must be respected. This includes matters relating to service users and their family / friends, and legal representatives, as well as business issues relating to its services (see Information Sharing and Confidentiality).

4.3 Ethical Purchasing Policy

The service purchases a wide range of goods and services required in the operation of its business and relies on a number of suppliers for the delivery of core services. Good working relationships with its suppliers are therefore central to the delivery of its vital services for people with care and support needs. For this reason, the service clearly states its purchasing policy as part of ensuring that its business standards are integrated throughout the supply chain.

It is committed to obtaining and retaining competitive goods and services while at the same time ensuring they are from sources which have not jeopardised human rights, safety or the environment.

The service aims to develop strong relationships with its suppliers, based on mutual trust, understanding and respect.

It expects its suppliers to:

  • adhere to business principles consistent with its own;
  • ensure that their products and services are produced and delivered to comply with all legislation relevant to their business;
  • seek to maintain continuous improvement in their supply chain relationship with the service;
  • ensure they adopt and implement acceptable safety, environmental, product quality, labour, human rights, social and legal standards in line with its own code and to ensure these issues are acceptably managed within the supply chain for any products supplied to it.

It will seek to work with key suppliers to:

  • develop long-term meaningful relations to the benefit of both parties;
  • improve the quality, environmental performance and sustainability of goods and services where this can be achieved to the benefit of both parties.

5. The Environment

The service is  committed to making continually improving the management of its environmental impact.

It works with its service users and their family and friends, staff and partners to promote environmental care, increase understanding of environmental issues and disseminate good practice.

The policy of the service is to strive to achieve continual improvement in environmental performance.

It is committed to:

  • preventing pollution and reducing the overall impact of its services on the environment;
  • maintaining an internal management structure in relation to environmental issues which includes clearly defined responsibilities capable of delivering this policy commitment
  • complying with, and where possible exceeding applicable legal and other requirements;
  • monitoring its environmental performance and setting objectives and targets for improvement;
  • providing appropriate training and awareness and activity programmes for its service users and staff.

Its key climate change commitments are:

  • to effectively work with its partners / suppliers to improve the efficiency of properties and vehicles;
  • to actively promote improved energy efficiency and fuel efficiency within the service;
  • to stay informed of climate change developments that may impact on its service delivery and take action accordingly.

Where it operates its services within communities which are designated as being of importance due to their natural habitats, the service will work with the relevant authorities and affected parties to ensure protection of these habitats through effective pollution control measures and management plans with the aim of conserving or enhancing the biodiversity of these sites.

Where it is involved in the development of new sites, the service will comply with all relevant statutory requirements and guidelines in respect of designated areas on any of its development sites. Where significant areas of landscaping are proposed, it aims to promote biodiversity through, for example, sensitivity of planting taking account of any local biodiversity networks or action plans.

6. Community Involvement

The service seeks to be a good corporate citizen and fulfil its responsibilities to the communities in which it has based its services. It provides an essential service to communities, offering services to local people with care and support needs and their families, and employment opportunities for suitably qualified and experienced staff. Its services impact on those members of the community, with the potential to positively influence their quality of life. It has responsibility to those living and working nearby.

Its relationships with the local communities it serves are therefore very important to it and is an essential part of its business. When developing services, it has a role to play in improving services for communities as a whole and not just its individual customers.

Th service, therefore, engages with local communities at a range of levels as service users, family and friends, neighbours and other local residents, potential employees, partners, and businesses. It seeks to play its part in promoting socially inclusive policies for all relevant individuals and parties.

It aims to:

  • engage with the local communities in which it operates on the quality of its services and any changes to those services;
  • work with local authorities, businesses and other interested parties to promote sustainable services and improve quality of life;
  • where possible, offer employment opportunities to members of the local community through non-discriminatory policies and promoting opportunities to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups;
  • promoting engagement between its staff, service users and the local community;
  • support local community groups and charities;
  • improve the environment in and around its services.

7. Compliance, Monitoring and Reporting

Compliance with this policy will be continuously monitored and subject to review by senior managers.

Each local manager is responsible for ensuring that the principles set out in this policy are communicated to, understood and observed by all staff and for ensuring compliance in their area of responsibility.

Staff who reasonably suspect that there has been a breach of this policy must report it to their line manager or senior management. If they believe their concerns have not been effectively considered by management, please read Whistleblowing.

The service will not criticise any manager for any loss of business resulting from adherence to the principles set out in this policy.

7.1 Access to Information

The service will seek to ensure that information is made available to its service users, their representatives and staff in alternative formats as required (see Information and Advice).

7.2 Complaints

Service users, or their representatives, who feel they have grounds for complaint may pursue these through the complaints policy and procedure (see Complaints).

Any member of staff who feels that he or she has grounds for complaint in relation to bullying, discrimination, harassment or victimisation has the right to pursue the complaint through grievance procedures.

7.3 Audit

The service is committed to ensuring that its service delivery complies with the requirements of this policy and will periodically audit its implementation (see Quality Assurance).

7.4 Data Protection

It complies with the relevant principles governing data protection (see Data ProtectionInformation Sharing and Confidentiality and Access to Records).