- 4.1 Elburton Heights promotes a culture where it recognises the benefits that animals can have on the wellbeing of Service Users and will aim to accommodate a Service User's pet and visiting animals. However, the health and wellbeing of Service Users and staff will take precedence when considering the accommodation of a pet or visiting animal.
- 4.2 Staff are responsible for informing Ms kelly mano of any known allergies that may affect them if they come into contact with animals at Elburton Heights.
Staff will also ensure they are aware of Service Users who may have allergies and that this is clearly recorded within their Care Plan.
- 4.3 When considering pets and visiting animals, Elburton Heights has a duty to comply with, and adhere to, the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Staff have a duty to report any concerns of animal cruelty.
- 4.4 Due regard and vigilance will be paid to the management of infection control risks associated with keeping pets and an effective risk management system will be in place and documented.
- 4.5 Roles and responsibilities will be clearly defined within the pet assessment and arrangement documentation as attached to this policy. This will clearly define accountability and must be in place for any accommodated pet.
- 4.6 The Service User and/or their family will be consulted throughout the decision-making process, with a clear explanation provided in the event of being unable to accommodate the animal.
- 4.7 This policy and procedure also applies when Elburton Heights chooses to house its own pet for therapeutic purposes.
- 4.8 Ms kelly mano will have the final decision as to whether Elburton Heights can accommodate a pet or visiting animal.
- 4.9 Elburton Heights will only accommodate small household pets. Large pets, exotic species, or animals requiring substantial support from care staff cannot be accepted.
- 4.10 Once the decision has been taken that the home will accommodate a Service User’s pet, then the preference is for the pet to remain in the Service User's room as long as this does not affect the ability of Elburton Heights to provide care to the Service User.
- 4.11 When accommodating visiting animals as part of activity provision, Elburton Heights will gain assurance that the companies used hold the required insurance and documents relating to the current vaccinations and health of the animals expected to visit.
- 4.12 Ms kelly mano will pay attention and due heed to the Dangerous Dogs Act 2014 and The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 and not accommodate or allow visits from the prohibited animals stated, as well as complying with Section 3 of the Act that applies to every dog owner in England and Wales. Under this section, it is a criminal offence for the person in charge of the dog to allow it to be ‘dangerously out of control’ in a public place.
5.1 Assessment and Management of Potential Pets
It will be assumed that the Service User and/or their family member will enquire about the opportunity to have a pet at Elburton Heights during the pre-admission process and through ongoing conversations. Once an enquiry is raised, Ms kelly mano (or a designated other) will:
- l Provide the Service User and/or their family members with a copy of this policy
- l Gather all the information necessary for a robust assessment as detailed within the attached assessment form and complete the assessment to identify its feasibility
- l Inform the Service User and/or their family member of the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities identified in section 5.4 of this policy
- l Complete a full risk assessment to identify the views and feelings of other Service Users and the impact a pet would have on them
The final outcome will be recorded on the assessment form.
Once confirmed by Ms kelly mano that a pet can be accepted, Ms kelly mano or a designated other will complete the attached management plan for keeping a pet at Elburton Heights.
Agreed arrangements will be shared with all staff to ensure that they understand the management plan contents and what they are responsible for.
Staff must inform Ms kelly mano of any known allergies so that action can be taken to minimise exposure and reduce the effects of the allergy.
5.3 Roles and Responsibilities - Registered Manager
Ms kelly mano will agree to have the following responsibilities:
- l To ensure that pet accommodation is managed appropriately and safely and not accept the pet until all risk assessments and management plans are in place
- l To make the final decision to accept a pet based on the number and type of animals already residing at Elburton Heights and the type and behaviour of the proposed pet
5.4 Roles and Responsibilities - Service Users and/or their family
Service Users and/or their family will agree to the following responsibilities:
- l Paying all fees and charges in respect of food, vet fees, worming, other treatments and other costs associated with keeping the pet
- l Washing of bedding and baskets at scheduled times on an ongoing basis
- l Subscription to an insurance scheme which ensures payment of veterinary fees or that they pay all costs associated with the care of the pet
- l Any cost incurred by Elburton Heights as a result of damage caused by the pet
- l Provision of food and other items such as a lead, bedding, litter tray and a regular supply of litter or sanded sheets for caged birds
- l Dogs or cats to be neutered and microchipped before coming into Elburton Heights
- l Regular flea and worming treatments where required
- l All cost implications of maintaining the pet
- l All transport to and from the vet for treatment
- l Arranging for the removal and disposal of the pet's body when it dies. The garden at Elburton Heights cannot be used as a ‘pet cemetery’
In circumstances where the Service User is unable to fully understand this agreement, the family must agree to take full responsibility in abiding by this agreement and acting on the Service User's behalf.
5.5 Support Provided by Elburton Heights
The following support from Elburton Heights will be provided wherever possible:
- l Where applicable to the type of animal, the provision of fenced garden space
- l Staff who are 'animal-friendly' to exercise the pet (when the Service User is unable) and clear up after it, disposing of waste appropriately
- l Staff to be prepared to empty litter trays if the Service User is unable
- l Staff to help with feeding the pet if the Service User is unable
- l Staff to transport the pet to and from the vet in an emergency situation only if the owner/family are unable to do so
5.6 Infection Control Considerations
The Infection Control Policy and Procedure must be referred to for the key principles in reducing the risk of infection. However, as a minimum, staff will ensure that:
- l Service Users are offered handwashing facilities pre and post animal contact. Staff must wash their hands in accordance with the Infection Control Policy and Procedure and pre and post animal contact
- l Animal foods and water stations are not located in food preparation areas at Elburton Heights
- l Pet foods are stored separately from food for humans, are prepared and served with separate utensils which are then washed separately using a neutral detergent and hot water
- l Animals are not allowed in the kitchen
- l There is timely cleaning of areas that have been soiled and informing the housekeeping team if extra cleaning is required
- l Staff refrain from handling animals when wearing their uniforms. However, where this is unavoidable, disposable aprons should be worn
- l Disposable gloves and plastic aprons are worn by the pet handler when cleaning up animal urine and faeces
- l Steam cleaning of soft furnishings and carpets is completed as required
- l Waste material is disposed of immediately as clinical waste – in a sealed offensive waste bag
- l Staff and Service Users who come into contact with an animal will cover all new and existing cuts and grazes with waterproof dressings and/or gloves
- l Staff will have an awareness of zoonosis and have access to resources to inform others
5.7 Changing Needs
The following situations may arise when it is no longer acceptable to keep a pet at Elburton Heights:
- l When it has a negative impact on other Service Users or staff
- l When the Service User can no longer look after their pet or has passed away (and no alternatives can be arranged to keep the pet at Elburton Heights
If Elburton Heights chooses to continue to accommodate the animal in the absence of the Service User due to death, Elburton Heights will take on the financial maintenance costs.
Where it is not possible to accommodate the animal, Elburton Heights will do all it can to put the Service User and/or their family member in contact with organisations who may be able to assist with re-homing.
5.8 Animal Welfare
Any staff member who has a concern regarding the wellbeing of a pet must report this to the duty senior at the earliest opportunity so that appropriate action can be taken.
Ms kelly mano, or a designated other, must contact the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to report someone neglecting or being cruel to an animal in England or Wales.
RSPCA 24-hour cruelty and advice line 0300 1234 999
5.9 Visiting Animals
An assigned member of staff will be designated to oversee the management of visiting animals. Their role will include the following:
- l The offering of a visit to Elburton Heights to determine where the animals will rest, be exercised, provided diet and fluids, etc.
- l All staff and Service Users who will come into contact with animals will be given information and instruction on hand hygiene, safe animal handling and infection risks
- l Ascertaining the preferences of the Service User in relation to the types of animal they want to see in their home and if they choose not to be part of the visit, which will be respected
- l That they have seen evidence of the service maintaining animal vaccinations and that the animals have been seen by a vet
- l Completion of a robust risk assessment and management plan
- l Considering the needs and preferences of those Service Users who cannot determine if they would like to be part of the visiting animal experience due to cognitive difficulties. In these cases, the views of families will be gathered in combination with knowing the Service User to determine the likelihood of the experience resulting in a positive outcome
- l The animal must be exercised prior to the visit to reduce the risk of elimination on site
- l Animals are well and do not display any signs of illness such as diarrhoea and vomiting
- l Animals are recorded in the visitor book along with the named person overseeing their care
- l Managing any distress from Service Users at the time of visit
- l Adhering to section 5.6 of this policy
- l First aid kits are accessible in the event of an individual getting scratched or bitten
- l The visiting animal's owner carries out regular cleaning and disinfection and disposes of all animal waste safely
- l Animals are constantly supervised and managed by the company so that Service Users and employees with whom they come into contact remain safe
- l Dogs are kept on a leash at all times and remain under the supervision of the person bringing them to the visit
- l Assessing the experiences of Service Users who do not have the capacity to be involved, tentatively and sensitively to provide the opportunity to be involved at the time of the visit
Preparing for the Day
During the Visit
5.10 Accidents and Incidents
Any incident involving an animal and a Service User, visitor or member of staff must be reported to a senior member of staff and recorded on an accident form.
Dependent on the severity of the injury, Ms kelly mano will consider the essential need to report to regulatory bodies such as the CQC, the Plymouth Local Authority Safeguarding Team and RIDDOR.
All accidents and incidents will be reviewed by Ms kelly mano and used as an opportunity for reflection of practice and a means of reviewing and learning to prevent and reduce the risk of reoccurrence.
5.11 Training and Education
- l Staff will need to be familiar with the contents of this policy
- l Staff can be made aware through local induction
- l Staff must also hold competence in infection control and have attended training in relation to this as a mandatory requirement of Elburton Heights
The situation will be kept under regular review to ensure that the continued accommodation of the pet is appropriate. This is particularly important when a pet becomes ill or requires specialist care that cannot be provided at Elburton Heights. All accommodated pet care reviews will be recorded on the assessment and management record attached.
Staff will seek feedback from Service Users following a visiting animal experience, and determine its repeated use based on their views and suggestions.