FAQs and Key Information
FAQs and Key Information
We often get many questions about care homes in general. We have tried to address as many as possible below, but if you need more advice, please contact your nearest care home.
Are you regulated?
In England we are registered and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England and in Wales our homes are regulated and inspected by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).
What care do you offer?
Our homes offer a range of care services - residential, dementia and nursing care. The detailed offering relating to each home can be found on their home page. We understand the needs of our residents may change during their stay, so we will do everything we can to adapt the care and support given, enabling residents to remain in the home they have chosen for as long as possible.
This may necessitate a change of bedroom within the home but this is something we will discuss with you prior to any move.
Can you care for people living with dementia?
Dementia can be a difficult journey and moving into full-time care may be a hard decision for the resident and their family. You must be confident that the care home you choose has the right facilities, skills and approach to support people whose lives are changed by dementia.
Hallmark Care Homes is a member of the Dementia Action Alliance, is signed up to the national Dementia Pledge and is actively involved in research projects to improve standards of dementia care. Our recently launched, comprehensive strategy outlines exactly how we deliver the highest levels of dementia care to all residents. To find out more you can download a summary of the strategy here.
Click here to find out if your nearest care home can care for those living with dementia.
What Facilities do your homes offer?
Each of our homes vary in layout and size. More information on each home can be found on their home page find your closest home here
Can residents participate in the running of the homes?
Yes. All residents will have the chance to be involved in regular residents’ forums to express their opinions and contribute to life in their care home. We also invite residents and relatives to participate in annual surveys.
What happens if my needs or the needs of my loved one change?
Because every person’s needs are different – in terms of medical, physical, emotional and even social aspects – we offer a package that’s developed and tailored especially for the resident in mind and which can be altered as quickly as needs change. Many of our homes offer residential, nursing and dementia care, so if your needs or the needs of your loved one change, in the majority of cases we are able to continue to meet these needs in the home.
Can we bring in furniture from home/our loved one’s home?
Yes. It is important to have familiar surroundings so we encourage residents to hang photos, bring their most cherished possessions and make the room theirs. We require all electrical items to be portable appliance tested and will conduct fire risk assessments on any furniture.
When can I visit my loved one?
Visitors are welcome at any time during the day. Residents can see their guests in their rooms or make use of any one of our communal lounges and cafes. We also welcome family to stay for a meal and eat with their loved one and encourage family and friends to take residents out when they can. At times we may have to make temporary changes to our visiting policy and during these times we will communicate with you the reasons for the change and what the changes look like. We will make every effort to make sure you are able to continue regular contact during these times.
My loved one is very sociable. What activities do you offer?
In every Hallmark care home we believe that activity should be at the centre of the care we provide. The activities offered vary by home, but each day is packed with activities, planned and organised by our dedicated lifestyle teams. If there are activities your loved one has always done, for example seeing a friend for coffee every Tuesday or watching a certain TV programme every week, we will do our best to include this in our plans and facilitate these interests.
Are pets allowed to live or visit the home?
Most of our homes are able to accommodate small domestic pets. Please contact your nearest care home for more details.
Mealtimes are very important to my loved one. What kind of service do you offer?
All our homes offer three meals a day as well as snacks available throughout the day. Residents can choose from a variety of breakfast options, from cereal to a full English breakfast. Depending on the home, the main meal will be at lunch or in the evening, but will consist of a choice of starter, main course and dessert, all served in our restaurant style dining rooms. If residents wish to eat in their room, we will also take their meals to them.
My loved one is very religious; can you support this?
Yes. Religious and spiritual beliefs will be respected by our team members. If there are any religious groups they wish to attend or maintain contact with, we will do our best to make sure this happens.
My loved one has always had the same doctor; can they keep seeing them?
They can, provided that your chosen care home is within their catchment area. If not, we have excellent relationships with our local surgeries and can support you to register with them. We can also support you with any new registration needed for a dentist and offer optical services, provided in-house by our nominated company, should you require them.
What are your team arrangements?
Team levels in our homes are based on the assessed care and support needs of the residents living on each community in the home. This assessment includes not only each resident’s physical needs but also the support they need to meet their emotional, psychological and social needs.
The home is run by a General Manager who is supported by the Heads of Department in the home.
We regularly review team levels and adapt them to resident needs.
Please contact your home of choice for more detailed information regarding the management structure at the home and the team arrangements on specific care communities.
What type of funding do you accept?
We accept residents who will be funded their own care and also residents eligible for a local authority contribution which would need to be topped up by a third party to meet our weekly fee.
Where the top-up is payable, the local authority should pay us for the full cost of care, and collect the top-up from you directly.
Trial period: Your first 28 days is considered a trial period, during which either you or we can end the contract. We will only end the contract during the trial period if we are unable to meet your needs. After 28 days we would require 28 days written notice if you wish to terminate the contract.
Residents moving in on a permanent contract are requested to complete a direct debit mandate to be set in place along with a four-week deposit which will be held by us for the duration of the residence. Your deposit will be safeguarded and will normally be refunded within 28 days of the end of your residency, subject to our right to deduct from it non-payment of fees or damage to property.
Are there any upfront fees?
We do not charge any administration or management fees. Residents who are paying for their own care are required to pay a deposit equal to 4 week’s fees prior to the resident moving in. This deposit may be used towards payment of sums owed by the resident (or other payer) at the point of termination of the contract for unpaid fees, damage to the home and any other final fees at the end of the termination period.
Any balance not used in respect of the above will be returned to the appropriate person as settlement of the final account. For further information, please speak to a member of our team.
Changes in fees
To cover inflation and other predictable cost increases, fees will increase in April each year. The only other increases payable will be any voluntarily choices to stay in a higher priced room, or if, upon assessment, care needs have changed materially, in which case we will discuss any changes to fees with you as early as possible
Rooms come fully furnished, although we welcome residents to bring small items of furniture. We are unable to accept responsibility for items that are lost or damaged, unless, in the unlikely event we have not taken reasonable security precautions at the home. If it is important to have these items with you, you should arrange suitable contents insurance.
Our full resident agreement is published on our website
Can I or my loved one be asked to leave the home?
Very occasionally, for example we may be unable to continue to meet a resident’s needs or when fees have remained unpaid for a period of time
Do you need proof of funding?
We want to help give you the peace of mind that you have made the right choice financially. In the lead up to moving in we spend time helping you fully understand annual costs along with any annual increases you may expect but also make you aware of any funding options that could be available to you. During this process we will ask for details around the funds and assets available to help fund the stay.
Who can I talk to if I have questions or concerns about my loved one’s care?
Whenever you have a question or a concern about any aspect of your care or your loved ones’ care, please bring it to the attention of the General Manager or any member of the home team. Usually, any issues can be resolved quickly and efficiently, and the earlier we know about it, the better. In the unlikely event that you have serious concerns about your care or your loved one’s care, please talk to the Manager in charge immediately who will put a plan in place to resolve the issue to your satisfaction.
I still have more questions, what can I do?
If we haven’t answered your questions here, please contact your nearest care home and speak to the Customer Relationship Manager or General Manager.
Alternatively, have a look at our downloadable advice guides or financial advice pages. There you’ll find information on funding long-term care, what to look for when choosing a care home, a checklist of things to consider before moving and a useful packing list.
If these still don’t help, the providers below will be able to give you more specific advice.
Society of Later Life Advisers