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This Policy defines the procedure for gaining entry to a service user’s home when there is no response to door bells or knockers, and will apply under the following circumstances:

  • The Care Worker does not have a front door key for the service user with which to gain entry on his / her person.

  • The visit to the service user is scheduled and when the Care Worker may reasonably expect the service user to be at home.

1. Where there is no response on a scheduled visit the Care Worker will need to thoroughly check and try and establish the reason. A scheduled visit should ideally not be abandoned without first verifying the service user’s welfare and safety wherever possible.

2. Non-response may be due to many things. The Care Worker should check for 4 key possibilities:

2.1 The service user is safe at home but has not heard the doorbell (out in the garden, TV or radio too loud, dozed off, etc). The Care Worker should repeat attempts to gain entry and to listen out for the TV etc. If possible check the back garden to see if the service user is there, or evidence of open doors etc.

2.2 The service user has forgotten the appointment and left the house to go shopping etc. The Care Worker should check with the neighbours. If this is suspected, this should be reported back to supervisory staff at the Organisation’s offices who will re-visit at a later time. If there is still a non-response, refer to clauses 4 and 5 below.

2.3 The service user has had to leave the house unexpectedly. The Care Worker should check with the Organisation’s offices, and if necessary neighbours and / or relatives to see whether the service user has left an appropriate message.

2.4 The service user has fallen ill or been injured in some way that prevents him / her from answering the door. The Care Worker should check to see that recently-delivered milk has been taken in and that there are no newspapers stuck in the letter-box that may indicate that the service user has been unable to reach the front door. If this is suspected refer to clauses 3 and 4 below.

3. If it is still not possible to gain entry, the Care Worker will immediately contact the Organisation’s offices for advice and direction. If the Organisation holds a key to the service user’s home then this should be used to gain entry.

4. If it is still not possible to gain entry through the front door (locked from the inside), then both the service user’s next-of-kin (where appropriate) and the Local Authority should be contacted for advice and direction. Extreme circumstances may require forced entry by the police.

5. Each occasion of non-response will be documented in the service user records. The frequency of such occurrences will be reviewed by the Domiciliary Care Services Manager for possible action with the Local Authority.

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