Taking the decision to move into care is usually hard, both for the potential resident themselves and their representatives. Given the highly emotional nature of the decision, often precipitated by a sudden decline in health, it means that it can be hard to read and understand information about a potential care home. Consumer law recognizes this and to comply with the legislation, care homes must make information available in a way that’s easy to digest to ensure informed decisions are made.
In days gone by, a potential resident or their representative would have looked for information about care homes by telephoning or by visiting in person. In this digital age, many searches are now made via the internet, and this will only increase with the technology being ubiquitous through every age group. The information you provide on your website is held to the same exacting standards as any other method of communication, and these regulations apply whether you are a small or large operator.
A speedily put together site with a pile of bullet points and some attractive pictures will not suffice, and there are pitfalls care home owners and managers must avoid. Fortunately, help is at hand. Business Companion, a free online resource from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, has released an online guide to help owners and registered managers provide their information online which adheres to the relevant obligations.
The guidance will inform what key information you need to include and where it needs to be displayed. By making sure your key details are prominently highlighted and easily clicked through to, you can avoid falling foul of the law.
The guide also explains how to avoid issues when your site is provided by a third party and also delves into the importance of ensuring your site is optimized to enable the same access to information no matter what sort of device is used.
Using the materials, your site will only contain truthful and accurate information and you will avoid displaying anything that could mislead a potential resident. The resources also include visual examples showing what should be displayed and where on your site.
For further information:
Care homes: web layout | Business Companion
Business Companion covers trading standards law for England, Scotland and Wales. For guidance on the law in Northern Ireland, please see nibusinessinfo.co.uk.