Harwood Care and Support Charter

Care Charter Logo

Equal Lives has signed up to the Harwood Care and Support Charter. This means that we are committed to listening to people to understand how their needs can be best met, either through our own services or others. When people who face disabling barriers, their families or carers contact us in a crisis we aim to provide information, advice and support as soon as we possibly can. Our commitment to the Harwood Care and Support Charter means we do not want to leave people unsupported.

About the Charter:

The Harwood Care and Support Charter was written by, and for, Norfolk people involved in the field of health and well-being. It was designed as a statement of intent: that people working in this field will listen to what people say about their support needs and how these can be best met. By signing up to this Charter, organisations make a commitment to the people using their service that they will:

  • provide relevant contact details
  • offer a personalised service
  • continually ask people for ideas about service improvement
  • tell people how much it will cost and how to access financial assistance
  • ensure people working for service(s) are appropriately trained and police checked
  • tell people about the standards of service they should expect

The Care Charter was created to bring forward a new era of involvement for anyone who uses care and support services in Norfolk. (More information about the Charter is available to download)

Our commitment to the Charter:

Equal Lives has made a commitment to providing services which are in line with the Charter’s principles, as outlined above. This includes embedding the Charter in our staff training and development, so that we provide high quality services that meet the needs and wishes of the people that use them. In addition, we commit to:

  • Take part in honest conversations about care and support services in Norfolk – with people using services, commissioners and other organisations
  • Ask people what they think about our service – what we do well, where we could do things better and where there are gaps
  • Treat people using our services with respect, dignity and courtesy
  • Work with other organisations to tackle poor quality care and support
  • Encourage people to tell us what they think about our service, and let them know that it is OK to raise a concern
  • Respect people’s right to choose how and where their care and support is delivered

Charter Card:

Organisations that have signed up to the Charter have access to the Charter Card. This should be given to people using the service: it provides them with clear information about who is supporting them, what their role is, how they can be contacted and who should be contacted in an emergency. The Charter Card has been designed to make life simpler and safer for the person using the service. (The Charter Card is available to download)

Charter Quality Standards:

By signing up to the Charter, Equal Lives has made a commitment to work towards the Quality Standards Framework for care and support services in Norfolk. The quality standards are statements that define what good care should include. The standards are regulated in a number of ways, and all staff are responsible for making sure that these are met. The Quality Standards Framework means that anyone who has concerns about their care and support should expect these to be listened to, reported and properly dealt with. (The Charter Quality Standards are available to download)

Living up to the Charter:

Having signed up to the Charter, it is important that we review how we put this into practice. Therefore we regularly talk to people about the services we provide, and use their feedback to improve staff training as well as service development. As an organisation the Charter enables us to remain flexible and adjust to changing needs, and to develop new services that will better meet the needs and wishes of the people using them. The Charter is about putting people at the centre of the services they receive: holding organisations to account, and making sure that people are fully involved in making decisions about how their care and support is delivered.

You can find out more about the charter here

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