Home Care Lay Assessors
RSVP lay assessors visit people who receive home care arranged by Bristol City Council to seek their views about the service they receive. Typically lay assessors are allocated a small number of service users whom they arrange to visit within an agreed period. Lay assessors make contact with individual service users (and in some cases a family member or friend) to arrange to visit the service user at a mutually convenient time. The visits are informal and lay assessors are careful to explain the purpose of their visit and the confidential nature of the opinions they obtain. Lay assessors need to be good communicators, able to listen and importantly able to encourage service users to express themselves freely. Lay assessors are not able to resolve specific issues but ensure that service user know how to pursue concerns or complaints and in some instances may refer matters directly to the appropriate body. Following each visit service user views are written up into a short report and these are collated and sent to Bristol City Council.
Managers in BCC fully supports the scheme and say ‘Lay assessors provide an invaluable independent view of the quality of home care services and provide a voice for service users who are less able to represent themselves’
Lay assessors regularly share their experiences of this work and actively contribute to making sure the scheme remains as effective as possible. The scheme provides a real opportunity for those who are receiving care in their own home to make their views known in a friendly and supportive manner. We continue to work closely with Bristol City so that the information we gather is taken into account in their quality assurance process for home care agencies.
All our lay assessors are provided with full training and support. Regular opportunities for peer support are provided and out of pocket expenses paid. Current lay assessors appreciate the flexibility of this scheme allowing them to play an active volunteering role around existing commitments.
We have recently provided training to our newest volunteers and expanded this scheme to put it on a permanent basis to give a voice to all those receiving care at home and this brings our current recruitment scheme to a close.
Although we are unable to take on any other volunteers at present if you think this role would appeal to you we have set up a waiting list. Please register your interest and find out more by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively telephone 0117 922 4392 and be prepared to leave your preferred contact details so that either Ken or Paula can get back to you.