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Service User Guide

Reviewed 28/03/2019

This SERVICE USER GUIDE is required for compliance to Regulation 5 of The Care Homes Regulations, 2001.


ArmsCare Ltd

Is governed by

The Care Quality Commission



Newcastle upon Tyne



Telephone: 03000 616161





  •      Our Aims & Objectives (Mission Statement)                                   

  •      Our Philosophy of Care

  •      Your Charter of Rights

  •      How we maintain our Standards:

    •   Policies

    •   Our Quality Management System

    •   External Inspections




  •      Where to find us 

  •      Our Facilities                                          

  •      Our Staff Team                                       

  •      Health & Safety:

    •   Fire Safety

    •   Smoking in the Home

    •   Freedom of Movement

    •   Security




  • Contracts

  • Our Schedule of Fees                                   

  • Moving into the Home

  • Statement of Purpose





  • Bringing your Personal Possessions into the Home                     

  • Money

  • Valuables

  • Insurance

  • Clothing                              

  • Electrical Equipment

  • Furniture & Ornaments

  • Pets                                      


Part 5: YOUR CARE:


  • Care Planning                                       

  • Involving your Family, Relatives, and Friends

  • Medical Care

  • Medication

  • Personal Care

  • Personal Services

  • Meals and Mealtimes

  • Laundry            




  • Social Events, Celebrations & Excursions

  • TV & Video

  • Internet

  • Newspapers & Magazines

  • Library Services

  • Relaxation

  • Visitors

  • Religion & Worship





  • Your opinions on the Home and the Services we provide

  • Involving your Family, Relatives, and Friends     

  • Compliments & Complaints

  • Gifts & Gratuities



Part 1 - Introduction 



Welcome to your ARMSCARE home; we hope your stay with us will be a long and happy one. This Service User Guide has been put together to give you information about the Home, what we have to offer you, and what services you can expect during your stay. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if there is anything that you need.



We aim to provide our residents with the best possible quality of life in an environment that is clean, comfortable, safe and welcoming. We will treat each resident with respect and remain sensitive to his or her individual needs and abilities. We have set out our objectives in a Mission Statement, which you will find on the communal notice-board situated in the entrance foyer, and a copy is kept in our Policy Manual which can be consulted in the office.




A “home from home” where you can feel at ease in a friendly, secure and relaxed environment. We strive to preserve and maintain the dignity, individuality and privacy of our residents and remain sensitive to each person’s ever-changing needs. 


Residents are treated as individuals and are encouraged to enjoy life at the Home and to maximise their intellectual, social and physical potential. We recognise that family and friends have an invaluable part to play in a resident’s well being, and we encourage visits whenever possible.


Our staff are appropriately qualified to ensure that we deliver the highest standards of care. Our staff undergo continuous training and development of their skills and experience to ensure that we maintain these standards at all times.




We respect the right of each resident to lead an independent and fulfilling life as possible. We have set out a Resident’s Charter of Rights, which we believe should be the minimum entitlement for everyone who lives at the Home, subject only to the constraints necessary to ensure the protection of the health and safety of residents, staff and visitors, and that the proper level of care is provided. Fundamentally, residents at the Home shall have the right:


  • To retain their personal dignity and independence irrespective of the severity of their physical or mental infirmity.


  • To have their social, emotional, religious, cultural and political needs accepted and respected.


  • To have skilled, sensitive and understanding care to enable them to achieve the highest possible quality of life.


  • To have their personal privacy respected.


  • To be consulted about daily living arrangements in the Home, and to participate in discussions about proposed changes to these arrangements.


  • To be involved in, and be kept informed about, their individual assessment of need.


  • To have a regular review of their individual circumstances, and to have the right to be present at any review meetings.


  • To make informed choices about their Care Plans.


  • To be kept informed of all the services offered by the Home.


  • To choose their own Medical Practitioner and Dentist, and to consult them in private.


  • To manage their own personal affairs, including finances If you wish


  • Not to be moved without prior consultation.


  • To have access to a formal complaint’s procedure.


  • To be given the opportunity to vote in local and general elections.




                        1.5.1    POLICIES:


Every aspect of running and managing the Home is set out in a comprehensive set of Policy documents. These Policies ensure that we meet the statutory requirements for running a Care Home, and cover all aspects of staffing, managing, caring for our residents and the preservation of health and safety standards. All of our Policies are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are kept up-to-date. 


                        1.5.2    OUR QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM:


We have embodied quality in our way of life and in everything we do. We define “quality” as delivering a service of care appropriate to each individual resident’s needs. We have a comprehensive Self-Assessment System, which requires all of our Policies and work practices to be audited at least annually to ensure that we maintain the standards we have set ourselves. Any “non-conforming” areas are corrected and reviewed for any other action that we may need to take to ensure that the problem is not repeated in the future. 




In addition to our own self-assessments and audits, we also receive regular inspections from the Norfolk Quality Assurance Team and Environmental Health Office. Our activities are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who also complete regular inspections to ensure compliance.  Copies of their latest reports are available on our website at  

Part 2 - About the home

2.1       WHERE TO FIND US:


It is easy for your family, relatives and friends to find you at the Home. 


ARMSCARE Has several residential care homes the address of which can be found on our website  or by asking a member of staff


If you or your family and friends need any further directions, then we would be more than happy to provide them.




ARMSCARE Homes are residential homes which cater to the elderly and those with mental health conditions.


All our bedrooms are pleasantly furnished to ensure your comfort and safety but you are free to bring your own furniture as well as personal items such as pictures and ornaments. Each room has a hand-wash basin, adequate electrical sockets and lockable facilities for your personal possessions. There are bathrooms and toilets near all rooms.


All guests and residents have use of a beautifully maintained secure garden, lawns and patio areas, with some rooms having panoramic views of the countryside and meadow within the grounds.


A personal alarm call system has been fitted throughout the building, facilitating staff to be called call by use of call points that are located by guest beds, in the toilet cubicles, and also in the lounge areas. All homes are also equipped by a maintained automatic fire detection system, as well as an emergency lighting system, which has all been approved by the Fire Officer.


There is a portable phone that is available for you to use for incoming calls. If you prefer, you can have a private telephone line installed in your room at your own expense.


            Private mail will be delivered to you by a member of staff.    

2.3       OUR STAFF TEAM:

We have an excellent team of highly trained professional care staff to look after you, who are ably supported by other professional staff. These include cooks, housekeepers, administrative staff and care staff, all highly trained in their respective skills. 


2.4       HEALTH & SAFETY:


                        2.4.1    FIRE SAFETY:

Please take the time to familiarise yourself with our Fire Safety Procedures. In particular, you should be aware of the sound the fire alarm makes and the various points of exit from the Home. These fire exits are marked with green signs pointing to the nearest exit route. If the fire alarm sounds wait where you are until staff arrive to tell you where to go. All visitors must proceed immediately to the assembly point and await further instruction. In the event of an emergency, our residents will receive direction and assistance from our fully trained staff.

                  2.4.2    SMOKING IN THE HOME:


All Homes operate a strict No Smoking policy. Although smoking is not at all encouraged, it is allowed in designated smoking areas only. Please let us know if you smoke and we will show you the designated areas.

                        2.4.3    FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT:

We do not restrict your freedom of movement around the Home both inside and outside (garden areas) but for safety reasons the staff will be of assistance for example where there may be a risk of slipping on icy surfaces in the winter months. 


Please note also that, when you are away from the Home, we cannot accept any responsibility for your safety or welfare unless we have organised the journey and provided supervision.​


                        2.4.4    SECURITY:

We aim to provide an environment that is safe and secure for the residents, staff and visitors. For this reason, you will find that the front door to the Home is kept locked from the inside, and all visitors are required to register with Reception when entering the Home. The furniture in your room includes a lockable facility for your valuables, and your room door is lockable from both the outside and inside.


There is an alarm call system fitted into each room of the Home, which is linked to a central control panel. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with it and how it operates.


The outside of the Home is equipped with CCTV and security lighting, which automatically switches on during the hours of darkness when the Home is approached.

Part 3 - Contractual Issues 

3.1       CONTRACTS:


Our Terms and Conditions of Residency are embodied in the Residents Contract, which forms the basis of your stay with us. You have free access to copies of any such document and other records concerning your residency at any time. Please ask to speak to the manager of the home who will be able to explain in more detail.




A copy of Our Schedule of Fees can be requested by the manager of your home.




We recognise that moving into a Care Home is a big step and can cause concern and anxiety for some people. For this reason, we want to make your transition to the Home as smooth as possible for you. We know that it takes time to settle in, which is why we have designated the first 2 weeks of residency as a “trial” period without any further obligation by either side. This will enable you to eventually decide whether the Home is for you, and we will be able to obtain a better picture of your daily needs. As always, please don’t hesitate to ask if there is anything that you need.




Part of the Policy documentation that we are obliged to have in place is a “Statement of Purpose”. This is a summary of the Home, the services that we offer and the staff that work here. Should you wish to consult this document, please ask the manager of your home.

Part 4 - Personal Property



We encourage you to bring in to the Home, some personal possessions with which you can personalise your room. Any items that you bring in will be recorded on a “Personal Property Register” and this will be updated during your stay with us as items are added to, or removed from, the Home. Please read the following sections below which gives advice regarding the various items that you may wish to bring in with you.


4.2       MONEY:


It is not advisable to keep large amounts of cash in your room. We are able to keep this safely for you by depositing your cash in our safe. If you choose to do this, we will keep accurate records of all your money that you have on balance with us. These records may be inspected at any time.


4.3       VALUABLES:


While we appreciate that some valuable items such as jewellery will be treasured, we do not advise that you bring them into the home. In line with our Policy on Insurance (see below) we are unable to accept liability for any single item with a value exceeding £100.


4.4       INSURANCE:


Your personal possessions are insured up to a maximum of £1,000, with a single article limit of £100. If you need to insure for sums greater than these then we would ask that you arrange your own insurance, the premiums for which will be payable by yourself. We can help with arranging any additional insurance if required, so please don’t hesitate to ask the home manager.


The Home also has the following additional minimum insurance covers:


Public Liability Insurance:    £ 5,000,000 for any single claim.


Employee Liability Insurance:  £ 10,000,000 for any single incident.


Professional Indemnity Insurance (for malpractice etc):  £5,000,000


Buildings and Contents;   Total sum insured:    £ 1,500,000

                                                     Limit per resident:    £ 1,000

                                                     Single article limit:   £ 100


4.5       CLOTHING:


Prior to coming into the Home, we ask that you label your belongings unobtrusively with your full name. For clothing, this will enable us to trace your garments through the laundry process so that we can ensure that the right garments are always returned to the right person. 




Electrical equipment or appliances must not be brought into the Home without prior permission from the Manager. This is for health and safety reasons. Any electrical items that are brought in will be recorded on your Personal Property Register but will need to be checked for safe use by our maintenance staff before it is used. Each item will be logged and will then need to be re-checked every year to ensure that it remains safe to use.




You will be able to bring small items of furniture into the Home provided that they can be safely accommodated in your room. However, such furniture must meet current fire regulations. We also encourage you to personalise your room with personal ornaments, family photographs etc., and all such items, including furniture, will be recorded on your Personal Property Register.


4.8       PETS:


For reasons of health and safety, we are unable to accommodate pets in the Home accept fish. Please note that, in all cases, an appropriate Risk Assessment will need to be performed before any pet is accepted into the Home. It is up to the desecration of the home manager where or not to allow any pet. Please note also that you will be responsible for the cost of up-keep of the pet. However, all requests will be considered.

Part 5 - Your Care

5.1       CARE PLANNING:


A Care Plan is the key document for your care. We will have assessed areas of risk and identified your needs, and this is recorded on your Care Plan. We then decide how our staff can properly meet these needs, and this forms your plan of care. Care planning is continuously reviewed because people’s needs change, sometimes on a daily basis, and we have to respond to these changes to make sure that we are delivering the right care. We will always seek your opinions and input when developing the Care Plan, and making changes or amendments to it, to ensure that you are fully satisfied with the care you receive from us.




We recognise the value in involving your family members, relatives and friends in your Care Plan, and we will always (with your permission) invite your family and friends to participate in the care planning process.


5.3       MEDICAL CARE:


You may retain the services of your existing GP if he or she is willing to visit you at the Home. Alternatively, we have visiting GPs who will be willing to attend to your needs. Each GP visits the Home on a regular basis and will be able to take care of your prescription needs.


5.4       MEDICATION:


Our Care Staff will normally keep your medication in a safe place and administer it to you at the intervals stated on the prescription. However, subject to an appropriate Risk Assessment, you may continue to administer your own medication and there are lockable facilities in your room to enable you to keep medicines safely. This will be discussed with you when your Care Plan is drawn up.  The Homes operate under the CQC approved “MDS System”.


5.5       PERSONAL CARE:


We are able to call upon the services of a wide range of specialist practitioners who either visit the Home on a regular basis or have a practice within the surrounding area, which can easily be visited for consultation. Please inform the Care Staff if you wish to be seen (Please note that private consultations outside of the NHS Scheme will attract an additional fee). We have access to the following practitioners:


  •             Physiotherapists

  •             Dentists

  •             Audiologists (for hearing)

  •             Opticians / Ophthalmologists (for sight)

  •             Chiropodists

  •             Hairdressers

  •            Beauty Therapists




Our Care Staff can help you with personal tasks such as letter writing, form filling, completing voting papers, and planning your shopping needs. Please ask a member of the Care Staff when required.


Please note: Good Practice prevents us from assisting you in drawing up a will or acting as executor. However, we are able to call upon the services of a solicitor who can help you with this. This would attract additional fees, but please let a member of the Care Staff know if help is needed.


5.7       MEALS & MEALTIMES:

We have an excellent team of kitchen staff who offer “home cooking” type meals, to provide a nutritious, appetising and well-balanced diet. Menus are planned on a weekly basis and displayed on the communal notice board, but we are able to cater for your particular likes and dislikes, offering alternative dishes to suit your tastes. There is always a choice of meals and we are also able to cater for special diets, including vegetarian and vegan dishes. Your food preferences will all be discussed with you when drawing up your Care Plan.


Hot and cold drinks are available throughout the day and are served mid-morning, mid-afternoon and at bedtime to those residents who want them. Cold snacks such as sandwiches, yoghurts, ice cream etc are available on request throughout the day. 


All meals are served in the dining room unless you choose to eat in your own room. In such cases please let the staff know your wishes. Mealtimes are usually as follows:


  •             Breakfast:      7-9am

  •             Lunch:           12.15pm

  •             Late Tea:        5.00pm


5.8       LAUNDRY:


All laundry is carried out on the premises using modern, maintained commercial equipment, and is free of charge. Laundry will be collected from you as required and will be laundered before being returned to you. We encourage any clothing repair to be carried your family or friends 


We can arrange for items to be dry-cleaned for you, at additional cost

Part 6 - Your Care



It is the aim and belief of the Home that all activities should be aimed at maximising the residents’ enjoyment whilst simultaneously maintaining their dignity. Once again any constraints on activities should be noted on the residents’ care plans. Activities are categorised as follows:


  • Physical:              group exercises, walking, and ball games

  • Mental:                 discussions, quizzes and various table games

  • Individual:           sewing, knitting, jigsaws, letter writing and gardening

  • Small Group:       cards, dominoes, arts and crafts

  • Social:                  parties, outings, get-togethers and sing-alongs

  • Spiritual:              Visits from clergy and services at the local Church


We have an “Activities Organiser” who organises a whole range of entertainment events and activities, both inside and outside the Home. This includes bingo, film shows, sing-songs, and other pastimes. You are free to participate in these activities as you wish. Your preferences in this respect will be discussed with you when your Care Plan is drawn up. 


All religious events, birthdays and social events are celebrated as they occur throughout the year. We can arrange for small parties to be catered for if you would like to celebrate your birthday or anniversary with members of your family. 


6.2       T.V. & VIDEO:


There are TV sets in the communal lounges where you can sit in comfort to watch programmes. 

If you have your own TV, a TV Licence is required and its cost will remain your responsibility, however, the staff can arrange this for you.


6.3       INTERNET:    


We do have access to a computer system, which is linked to the Internet. If you would like to take advantage of this technology, please ask a member of staff. 




We can arrange for daily and weekly newspapers and magazines of your choice to be delivered to the Home. You will be responsible for the cost of these items, and the staff can assist you with this.




The Mobile Library provides a selection of large print books and special audiotapes. You will be able to borrow books and a member of staff can help you with this.


6.5       RELAXATION:


We do realise that not everybody will always want to join in our activities, and your choice will always be respected. We realise that sometimes you may want to just relax in peace and quiet, and for this purpose, we have provided a comfortably furnished “Quiet Room” for your enjoyment. 


Your relaxation may include arranging your own activities such as playing cards with other residents. We have a wide range of puzzles and games so please ask a member of staff.


6.6       VISITORS:


Visitors may visit the Home at any time. However, we respect the fact that you should receive guests at times to suit you, and of course, you always have the right to decline to see anybody if you so wish. We encourage your family members and friends to visit, and all we ask is that they should sign in and out of the Visitor’s Book (kept at Reception) for reasons of fire safety. We would advise that any visitor should avoid meal times as these can be exceptionally busy.


If your guest would like to join you for a meal then this can be arranged, and there is a small charge payable. Please arrange this with the Manager.




When we draw up your Care Plan we will include your spiritual needs; i.e. whether you would like to see your Minister of Religion on a regular basis, and how and where you would prefer to worship. We have visiting clergymen of many denominations who can visit the Home and we encourage you to exercise your spiritual needs. 

Part 7- Views & Comments



We value your views and opinions on the Care Services that we provide. We firmly believe that only by asking the users of our services, i.e. you - the residents, can we obtain the information that we need to enable us to continually improve our services. Part of our on-going commitment to quality is to ask you to complete a simple questionnaire about your views of the Home, and our staff can tell you more about this. However, we do welcome comments from you at any time.




When seeking your views about our Home we always like to include the views and opinions of your family and friends that visit you. What is their perception of the Home? To enable us to do this we have special simple questionnaires, which we ask them to complete from time to time.   




Unfortunately, with the best will in the world, we don’t get things right all the time and we need you to tell us when we fall short of expected standards. If you have a complaint, please speak to the senior staff member on duty. If the problem cannot be solved to your satisfaction, please ask to speak to the Manager. If your complaint is then still not satisfactorily resolved, you can contact the operational manager then director. Any un-resolved matter can also be reported to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman at P.O Box 4771, Coventry. CV4 0EH (telephone 0300 061 0614) or Also, you have the right to contact the Care Quality Commission. Their address is on the front of this document.




Our job at the Home is to ensure that you are looked after to the best possible standards and that you receive the best possible care. We are rewarded enough when we receive compliments from any of the residents. There is no need to offer any gifts, tips or gratuities; indeed, we are unable to accept them. Your understanding in this matter is appreciated.

Part 8 - Conclusion

ARMSCARE is a long established and well-run care home group, set in the heart of their community, catering for elderly residents who require care and attention. The Homes also benefit from a good local reputation with many of the professionals connected with the Home, such as Social Workers, Local Hospitals and Doctor’s surgeries.


The Homes run with a full complement of staff. The Managers and many of the team are highly dedicated people, which will assist in promoting and maintaining the community spirit of the locality.


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