Care Home Lay Assessors
Nursing and residential care homes provide an essential service and do a difficult job with many pressures on them. It is well known that some care homes struggle to provide the level of care most people would expect. RSVP is committed to improving these services by using volunteers as lay assessors to assist Bristol City Council’s quality assurance team in their work to inspect and monitor care homes for older people in the Bristol area.

Lay assessors make two or three unannounced visits to a care home to gain an understanding of how the home works and to take the opportunity to talk to residents, relatives and staff.

Following these initial visits, the lay assessor works closely with a quality assurance officer from Bristol City Council.

Typically joint visits are made and lay assessors play an important part in Bristol’s inspection process          by concentrating on the quality of life of residents.

As a lay assessor visits a care home more frequently than council staff, and in a different capacity, they are ideally placed to form a broad and balanced perspective of a care home. Their work has been described as bringing an extra pair of eyes to the process.

This scheme is widely accepted as an excellent service to care home residents and highly valued by the council’s managers and staff in carrying out their responsibilities. Most care home managers welcome the scheme as they feel that by visiting on several occasions, the lay assessor can gain a more rounded picture of their service. Feedback from the residents and relatives has also been very encouraging.

The scheme has been running for nearly four years and last year our lay assessors worked in over 30 care homes in Bristol. (follow this link to see where we are)

We have a team of eight lay assessors and we are currently recruiting new volunteers to add to this group. The lay assessors come from a wide variety of backgrounds, many are retired professionals, some worked in care settings and some have personal experience of care homes.

All are strongly committed to improving the quality of life for older people in care homes.

We are very fortunate to have such a range of expertise and experience

As well as providing training and out of pocket expenses, we consider good support to the lay assessors as essential and they meet regularly for peer support. The flexibility of the scheme allows volunteers to play an active volunteering role around existing commitments.

If you are interested in this role please contact:

 Jan Snook 0117 9628649  mailto:jan.snook@rsvp-west.org.uk

or Ken Dolbear 0117 942 3085 mailto ken.dolbear@rsvp-west.org.uk