Gardiner’s was established in 1968 by Dorothy Gardiner. Dorothy was made an MBE in 1984 for her ‘outstanding contribution to fostering good standards of care in the independent sector’. Dorothy strove to provide a professional, sensitive, caring service, setting high standards and valuing every client and staff member equally.
More than fifty years on, Gardiner’s remains a family business with a reputation for providing reliable, compassionate and dedicated care at home. We promote and maintain independence by providing personalised care and companionship tailored to individual needs. We are regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
How would you like Gardiner’s to help?
Whatever it is that you are struggling with in your day to day life, our Care Workers are likely to be able to help. Maintaining your independence is important. Detailed below are some of the things that we can help with.
- Building confidence after a stay in hospital perhaps by staying overnight to provide reassurance or assistance
- Providing companionship or helping you to maintain a hobby or interest
- Accompanying on walks or perhaps trips to the cinema or a local café
- Preparing meals and drinks & if needed support with eating and drinking
- Going to the shops with you, or going for you if needed
- Housework such as cleaning, changing the bed sheets or putting the bins out
- Taking medication
- Reading paperwork aloud to you or assisting to make telephone calls
- Getting up, dressed & ready for the day and getting ready for bed in the evening
- Accompanying to appointments
- Washing & grooming – having a bath or shower, brushing teeth, shaving etc
- Support to use the toilet, if needed emptying a commode or other continence care such as changing pads, emptying catheter bags etc
Where we are not allowed to help with certain tasks on safety grounds, for example cutting nails, we will explain why and help you to organise assistance if required.
Getting started with Gardiner’s – the Initial Assessment
When you make an enquiry to Gardiner’s, we record your contact details and other information that you share about your situation. We will securely keep this information ready for when you decide to use our services. It won’t be used for any other purpose or passed on to anyone else and will be securely disposed of after 1 year, or sooner if you tell us that you have decided not to use Gardiner’s.
When you have read through this guide and are happy with our terms of business and our charges, please call 0118 334 7474 to speak with us. Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00. Outside of these hours and on Bank Holidays, we operate an On Call service via the same number.
When you call back to request Gardiner’s services, we will take details from you and email to you our terms and conditions to sign. Whilst you are doing this, we will review our staff availability to check that we are able to meet your request.
Once the signed terms have been received we will contact you to agree a time for an Initial Assessment. At this meeting we listen to you in order to understand what your care needs are and how you would like us to help. We will then document your care plan which should include all of the ways that you would like us to support you. We will need to ask questions to find out about you and your home to make sure we can safely provide the care you require.
There is a lot that we need to cover during an Initial Assessment and we welcome input from those who support you. It really helps for you to think and talk about what care or support you might require in advance of this meeting. We will also send to you a list of information to send to us before the meeting – doing this saves time during the assessment and helps us to prepare.
Gardiner’s charge an initial assessment fee to cover our costs in setting up a new care package. This fee is credited against the cost of future care once the minimum number of hours care has been provided and paid for. We routinely assess this and will notify you once this point has been reached.
Occasionally, as part of the initial assessment process, we are requested to visit potential service users twice, for example first in hospital and then again when they are back home. In general, from experience, we prefer to visit just once to your home, however in exceptional circumstances two visits can be arranged.
Managing your care
Every Service User at Gardiner’s has an appointed Care Manager or Senior Care Worker to act as their first point of contact at Gardiner’s. The Care Managers, Senior Care Workers and the rest of our office team work together to match your needs and preferred times to the most appropriate, regularly available team of Care Workers.
Care Workers use a mobile phone app called PASSsystem to view your agreed care plan and record the care that they provide. This system allows for care plans to be changed quickly reflecting changing needs and preferences. It is a secure and fully encrypted system where information is only available to Care Workers for 7 days before they visit you.
We will keep you informed about who is visiting and when by calling to speak with you or sending weekly rosters preferably by email rather than post. You can also access current information about who is visiting, as well as care notes from previous visits, by using the openPASS app or website.
We use PASSsystem to monitor the arrival and departure of Care Workers. If we have not received notification via the app that the Care Worker has arrived within half an hour of the expected start time we will receive an alert. We will contact the Care Worker and possibly the Service User to establish the reason for the delay and whether cover is required.
Your Care Manager, or a Senior Care Worker, will visit and speak with you regularly in order to review your care and see how well we are meeting your needs and preferences. We will let you know in advance before we need to visit so that we can agree a time. It can be helpful to have a family member to attend review meetings if they help to provide support to you.
Sometimes we need to visit to observe a Care Worker so we can satisfy ourselves about how well and how safely they do their job.
Arrival of your Care Worker
When your Care Worker arrives, they will be wearing Gardiner’s uniform and have a photo identification badge. If you would prefer Care Workers not to wear uniform this is absolutely fine, please just ask – they should still carry their identity badge. If this is the Care Worker’s first visit, please check that the name on the badge is who you are expecting and that the photograph is the same person that has arrived at your door – if in any doubt, please call the Gardiner’s office to check.
Access to your home – key safe
Some people find it difficult to answer the door, perhaps due to hearing or mobility problems. We suggest that you use a key safe which is a small box fixed near to your front door. The combination lock securely stores door keys to allow access. This will also benefit family members who will no longer need to carry a spare key.
The key safe combination can be used by Care Workers at every visit if you wish, or alternatively held by the office for use only in an emergency. Care Workers are not allowed to hold or look after keys for Service User’s homes.
To organise a key safe, we suggest you contact Forestcare (01344786500). Set up by Bracknell Council, they cover our area and supply police approved key safes. In addition, if there is a problem, Forestcare will be there promptly to replace or repair it.
If you also purchase a telecare alarm from Forestcare, they will keep a record of your key safe code. Emergency services may then contact Forestcare to gain access using the key safe rather than gaining forced access.
If we are concerned about how you are able to move about in your home, we may ask that an Occupational Therapy assessment is completed. Care Workers may only be able to provide help once recommended equipment is in place. Although our Care Workers can assist with your mobility using safe techniques, they are unable to do any lifting, except when using the appropriate equipment.
All staff receive infection control training. They are given protective gloves and aprons to use when providing personal care. Our care workers are asked to wash their hands upon arrival, before leaving and in between each care task. Service Users should supply liquid soap for Care Workers to use to wash their hands rather than bars of soap and kitchen roll for drying hands
We know that medication can sometimes be difficult to manage. Gardiner’s support Service Users to retain control over their own medication. We can provide physical assistance perhaps to open a bottle or pop a blister, we can remind you to take your medication, or we can administer your medication for you.
Care Workers can only assist with medication in the original pharmacist filled container. We can’t help with tablets left out or containers filled by a family member. If Gardiner’s are asked to be responsible for medication we require that all old medication is returned to the pharmacist since this helps to avoid confusion.
Comments and complaints
Your feedback about our service is very important to us, it helps us to keep improving the service we provide. We aim to work closely with you to provide your care in the way that you would like it to be done. However sometimes we may not get it right. If you have any comments or a complaint please let us know as soon as possible. Most issues can be resolved by talking to your Care Manager, please call 01183347474.
If you wish to make a formal complaint this can be made by speaking with or writing to your Care Manager, Krista Hallett (Registered Manager) or John-Joe Cottam (Managing Director). Please call 01183347474, email [email protected] or writing to our office address 10 Church Street, Caversham, Reading, RG4 8DZ. We will provide you with a copy of the full complaints procedure before investigating your complaint and reporting back to you.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of our investigation or how we have resolved your complaint, you can refer the issue to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (telephone no. 0300 061 0614).
Adult safeguarding means protecting people so they can live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. If we have concerns, we will raise those concern with the local safeguarding team.
If you are experiencing abuse, or are worried about another adult you believe may be experiencing abuse, please call the local safeguarding team:
- Reading 0118 937 3747
- Oxfordshire 01865 328 232
The local safeguarding team are will carry out a careful and sensitive enquiry. What happens next will depend on the wishes of the person concerned and the seriousness of their situation. Their safety is the priority. They will offer information and advice so the person can make an informed choice about any practical help they need or action they wish to take. If they are unable to make an informed choice, care will be taken to support them in the best way possible.
If you or someone else is in danger call the Police on 999.
If it isn’t an emergency but a crime may have been committed call the Police on 101.