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This Policy defines the procedures and philosophies to be observed for assisting a service user to wash, bathe or shower, maximising the dignity and privacy of the service user which is respected and preserved as far as possible. This will include respecting personal religious beliefs and customs, an awareness of which Care Staff have been appropriately trained.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Intimate Care Policy, (Policy No 3205), and the Risk Assessments listed below:


1.1 The Care Worker should ask the service user where he / she prefers to be washed and which towels he / she prefers to use for drying the face and body. The Care Worker will then ensure that all items needed are to hand. These will include soap, face-cloths / flannels, towels, and body talc, deodorant, etc.

1.2 The Care Worker will fill a bowl with warm water, and check the temperature. This should not exceed body temperature. The water should be changed regularly as needed, checking the temperature as before.

1.3 The Care Worker should encourage the service user to do as much as possible for themselves. While helping to wash, the Care Worker should talk to the service user to help them feel at ease. For a new service user the Care Worker must be aware of any possible embarrassment or inhibitions that the service user may have.

1.4 As each area of the body is finished the service user should be covered with a towel or clothing, taking into account the need for warmth and modesty on the part of the service user. When finished, the service user should be helped to dress per Policy No 3203.

1.5 The Care Worker must monitor the service user’s pressure areas at all times and to take care when moving painful areas. If there is any sign of redness which may indicate possible pressure sores this must be reported to the Domiciliary Care Services Supervisor or Manager for appropriate action.


2.1 The Care Worker should ask the service user what his / her preferred routine is for bathing or showering.

2.2 The Care Worker should check that any bath or shower aids (grab rails, slip mats etc) are safe before the service user enters the bath / shower.

2.3 To eliminate the risk of scalding the Care Worker should check the temperature of the bath / shower water before the service user enters the bath / shower. This should not exceed body temperature.

2.4 Thereafter, proceed per 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 above. The Care Worker MUST be aware of health and safety implications when helping service users in and out of the bath / shower and individual Staff Training records must demonstrate adequate training in Moving & Assisting / Lifting & Handling techniques.

2.5 After the service user has finished, the Care Worker should clean the bath / shower.


Form No: 3-007 Risk Assessment - Service User - Bathing & Showering

Form No: 3-008 Risk Assessment - Service User - Lifting & Handling

Form No: 3-009 Risk Assessment - Service User - Moving & Handling the Larger Person

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