A term used to refer to physical assistive devices like wheelchairs and hearing aids that help promote independence. See Personalised Technology.

A process of making judgements about a person’s needs or abilities to decide how best to support them. An assessment is based on lots of things, including talking to and observing a person, and considering where they live, what support they have and want, their goals, etc.

Someone appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions to receive an adult with care and support needs’ benefits and to use that money to pay expenses such as household bills, food and personal items. Although often a friend or relative, a member of Hft management can also be someone’s appointee.

Someone who speaks on behalf of someone else, either in a voluntary or paid capacity. Some people with learning disabilities use advocacy services or are self-advocates.


This is a decision made on behalf of a person who is not able to make a particular decision for themselves. ‘Best interests’ is a legal term that Support Workers have to think about when supporting a person who may not be able to make a decision for themselves. The term comes from the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It refers to making decisions on a person’s behalf – making a decision ‘for’ someone who is not able to make it themselves – who ‘lacks capacity’ (see ‘capacity’). No-one should make a best interests decision unless there is clear evidence that the person lacks capacity to make this particular decision for themselves.


One of the eight strategy segments of the Fusion Model of Support. Choice means enabling the people we support to have a greater awareness of the range of options available to them, so they can make the choice or decision that is uniquely right for them. This means people are more empowered to make informed decisions, even if these decisions may be considered ‘unwise’ by others.

A group of people who come together regularly to help a person achieve their goals. The person themselves is in charge of deciding who to invite to be in the circle. The circle may include relatives and friends and are (usually) not paid to be in a person’s life

Professional standards that you follow, eg the Mental Capacity Act code of practice.

A new approach (piloted by Hft in 2014-15) designed to foster great relationships between staff teams and families of people we support so that we can provide the best support for each individual.

A process to actively support and maximise a person’s communication.

An illness, physical state or health problem that lasts for a long time.

‘Confidential information’ is private, personal information that you only know about a person because you are close to them in some way. It must only be shared in very specific situations with authorised people and, wherever possible, with the agreement of the person in question.

Consent means ‘agreement’ or ‘permission’.

A theme that runs around and through Hft’s Fusion strategy and links in to our ‘good isn’t good enough’ core competency.

A person that the court of protection appoints to act and make decisions on behalf of a person who lacks capacity to make those decisions.

One of the eight strategy segments of the Fusion Model of Support. Creative Solutions means thinking openly and using imaginative and original ideas to find practical solutions to enhance the lives of the people we support.

“A carer spends a significant proportion of their life providing unpaid support to family or potentially friends. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled, or has mental health or substance misuse problems.” (Source: Carers at the Heart of the 21st Century, DH 2008) Hft describes carers supporting people with learning disabilities as ‘family carers’.

A public body, set up by the government, whose role is both to make sure that hospitals, care homes, dental and general practices, and other care services in England provide people with safe, effective and high-quality care, and to encourage them to make improvements. Hft’s registered services are inspected regulated and rated by the CQC.

The care programme approach is a way of co-ordinating support for a person with complex mental health needs.

The Care Certificate is a qualification that was introduced in 2015, and that builds on and replaces the Common Induction Standards (CIS) and National Minimum Training Standards (NMTS). It sets out the learning outcomes, competencies and standards of care that are expected in both the social care and health sectors, ensuring that Support Workers are caring, compassionate and provide quality care.

The Care Act 2014 is the law for adult social care in England which sets out how adults with care and support needs should be supported.

The process of making a judgement about a person’s ability to make a decision. Generally the person who needs the decision is the person who assesses a person’s capacity

A person’s ability to make a particular decision at a particular time. The MCA Code Of Practice 2005 directs us to assume that people have capacity to make their own decisions unless it can be shown otherwise. We must also do all we can to enable people to make their own decisions.


Recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another, eg “discrimination between right and wrong”. More usually refers to illegal discrimination: the unfair treatment of someone or someone associated with them based on their race, colour or nationality; religion or religious belief; sexual orientation; age; disability; gender reassignment, gender or maried status – treatment which does not recognise a person’s individual life-story or personal qualities.

The Disclosure and Barring Service helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including adults with learning disabilities. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

Disability Living Allowance is a tax-free benefit for children and adults who need help with personal care or have mobility difficulty because they have a physical or learning disability.

Now mostly subsumed into the Equality Act 2010, the Disability Discrimination Act 1998 made it unlawful to discriminate against people in respect of their disabilities in relation to employment, the provision of goods and services, education and transport.

Through Disability Confident, the government is working with employers such as Hft to challenge attitudes, increase understanding and offer more opportunities for people with disabilities to fulfil their potential.

A person has a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

A payment made by the government to a person to use for support services.

The respect that you have for another person that recognises that they are a unique and complex individual with rights and personal qualities that inspire respect in other people. The interactions you have with and the support you offer a person must at all times protect their dignity.

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They apply in England and Wales only. The Mental Capacity Act allows restraint and restrictions to be used – but only if they are in a person’s best interests. Extra safeguards are needed if the restrictions and restraint used will deprive a person of their liberty. These are called the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, anyone processing personal information must comply with eight principles of good information handling.

‘Diversity’ means recognising everyone as an individual. At Hft, we treat people equally and without discrimination. This approach applies to the people we support, their families, the staff we employ, and others with whom we have contact.

We recognise that everyone is different, but we promote a culture in which this does not impact on an individual’s chance of success. We welcome the different views, approaches and ideas that different people bring to Hft, and see the benefit in reflecting the diversity of the people we support in our staff.

Find out more about Diversity at Hft on our Working at Hft page.

Domiciliary care is provision of personal care in someone’s own home for a person who, by reason of illness, infirmity or disability is unable to provide it for themselves without assistance.


Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) is a new benefit paid to those people whose ability to work is limited by ill health or disability.

The ENTELIS project brings together nine partners from across the European Union plus one partner from the United States, with the goal of addressing some of the issues around accessing assistive technology and information & communication technologies that are experienced by many people with disabilities and the elderly. Other organisations have joined the consortium as Associate Partners.

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone

A person-centred planning, an ELP is a way to learn how someone wants to live, and work out how to make it happen. The process is centred around the individual, their family, and those who care for them. Many of the people Hft supports have Essential Lifestyle Plans as a basis for their support plan.

A descriptive term for an approach intended to give equal access to an environment or benefits, such as education, employment, health care, or social welfare to all, often with emphasis on members of various social groups which might have at some time suffered from discrimination. Social groupings generally emphasised in such a way are those delineated by aspects of disability, gender, race, age, sexual orientation or religion.

To support a person to have more power or control in their life.


Hft’s Family Carer Support Service (FCSS) is a free national service for family carers who have a relative with a learning disability. It supports them by providing one-to-one support by telephone, letter or email, providing workshops about issues affecting family carers, developing family carer resources and updating family carers about issues and legislation that affect them. The FCSS also works with different organisations and government bodies to develop support and resources and ensure a voice for family carers in policy development. The FCSS works in partnership with Hft Support Workers who are working with family carers.

A series of awards designed to recognise the many people and teams that are doing remarkable things around Hft – above and beyond their day job – that showcase our Fusion Model of Support.

Used to describe carers who have a lifelong caring role, usually a family member or friend supporting an adult with a learning disability. “A family carer is someone who has a lifelong relationship with a person who has a learning disability, usually a family member or close friend. They have an active interest in the wellbeing of that individual, wherever they live”.

One of the eight strategy segments of the Fusion Model of Support. This means helping the people we support to develop and maintain positive relationships with families, friends and other partners involved in their lives. It means having the skills and understanding of how important it is to work in partnership with the people we support and those involved in their lives. This includes welcoming and valuing what families contribute to giving the best support.


The sector in which Hft operates and, consequently, also the name of the Diplomas that replaced NVQs in 2011.

One of the eight strategy segments of the Fusion Model of Support. Healthy, Safe and Well involves all aspects of a person’s life including their physical, mental, emotional, social, cultural and spiritual needs. It is a positive concept means for them so we can help them to live more fulfilled lives. This means, when necessary, we will support them to take risks to get the lifestyle they want, while also safeguarding them from harm and means we will proactively work with each individual to find out what this

Health action plans were promoted by the government’s ‘Valuing People’ (Department of Health, 2002) which aimed to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities. Health action plans are a record of a person’s health, and also give information about what that person needs and wants to do to stay healthy. Health action plans are part of a person’s person-centred planning.

The Health Equalities Framework (HEF), an outcomes framework based on the the factors that determine health inequalities; it provides a way for learning disability services to measure health outcomes for the people we support. Produced by the UK Learning Disability Consultant Nurse Network for the NTDI.

Hum Tum is a friendship project for adults with learning disabilities from Asian communities.


‘Inclusion’ means seeing difference as a benefit, recognising that sharing different perspectives leads to better decisions and a stronger organisation.

At Hft we promote an inclusive working environment in which everyone feels valued, and  believes that their contribution matters irrespective of their background, identity or circumstances. Being inclusive in our approach helps us create an environment in which a diverse range of people can enjoy working together effectively.

The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) is a role created by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. A local council or NHS body has a duty to involve an IMCA when a vulnerable person who lacks mental capacity needs to make a decision about serious medical treatment, or an accommodation move. This could be a person with dementia or a learning disability. The IMCA will help support the person to make the decision, will represent their views and should act in the person’s best interests.

Individual budgets are an allocation of funding given to the people we support after an assessment which should be sufficient to meet their assessed needs. They can either take their personal budget as a direct payment, or – while still choosing how their care needs are met and by whom – leave councils with the responsibility to commission the services. Or they can take have some combination of the two.

Launched in 1991, Investors in People is the UK’s leading people management standard. Hft achieved ‘Silver’ accreditation in 2017.

Any care which involves washing, touching or doing anything for a person that most people do for themselves, but which some are unable to do. This includes providing support associated with bodily functions and personal hygiene that require direct or indirect contact with, or exposure of the genitals. Examples include support with dressing and undressing, changing incontinence pads, helping someone use the toilet or washing private parts of the body

An IMHA is an independent advocate who is specially trained to work within the framework of the Mental Health Act 1983 to support people to understand their rights under the Act and participate in decisions about their care and treatment.

An IA is provided by a Local Authority under the Care Act 2014 to support individuals who would otherwise have ‘substantial difficulty’ taking part in Care Act processes such as Assessments and Care and Support Planning, where there is no family carer to support them


Keyworker / linkworker / coordinator – a named Support Worker to whom the person being supported by the service (or their family carer) would usually look for advice about any problem related to them. The Keyworker has responsibility for collaborating with professionals from their own and other services.

Part of the CQC’s inspection structure, which help establish whether services are Safe, Caring, Responsive, Effective and Well-led.


A friendship agency for adults with a learning disability, run with Hft’s support – there are several ‘branches’ in different parts of the country.

In the UK we use the term ‘learning disability’, often interchangeably with ‘learning difficulty’. It’s not always helpful to label, but at Hft when we talk about a learning disability, we’re talking about a condition that affects the way someone understands and processes information, and how they communicate. When we talk about a learning difficulty, we’re often talking about a condition in an educational context. Learning difficulties can make processing information more difficult in certain circumstances.

If someone does something, or decides something on a person’s behalf it must be the ‘least restrictive of a person’s rights and freedom of actions’. This means that when you and others are thinking about alternative options you must make sure that the option you choose is the best decision for the person themselves, ie in their best interest and not limiting, controlling or reducing their rights and freedoms any more than absolutely necessary.

A range of activities aimed at building a full picture of a person’s background, culture, family, friends, values and beliefs.


Commonly known as the MAR sheet, this a system provided by the dispensing pharmacist for a service to use to record people’s medication. This will usually be kept in the same location as the medication. The term ‘e-MAR’ has started to be used where electronic systems are used.

“This term is often used to mean slightly different things. Within Hft, we use it to describe: Breadth – multiple (more than one) need, interrelated or interconnected Depth – profound, serious or intense needs Multiple – implies spanning health and social issues and multiple services Complex – often includes behaviour that challenges service provision”

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is designed to empower people to make decisions for themselves wherever possible, and to protect all vulnerable adults who lack capacity, by providing a flexible framework that places individuals at the heart of the decision-making process. See also DOLS.


The National Family Carer Network is a registered charity that aims to promote the voice and rights of family carers supporting a person with a learning disability. Its membership comprises both organisations and individuals. The NFCN was established in 2004 as a project managed by Hft. The Family Carer Support Service works in partnership with the NFCN to produce resources and keep family carers informed.


Outcomes are results or consequences. We use the term to describe the results for a person of a particular type of support, or plan.


Partnership working means working together with another person or agency, co-ordinating services and support, and sharing information to make sure that a person receives the most effective and appropriate support. ‘Partnership working’ is a policy objective of ‘Valuing People Now’ (Department of Health, 2009). At Hft we’ve made a ‘Commitment to Partnership’ that acknowledges and welcomes the input and involvement of families in the lives of the people we support.

Managers and employees within Hft have made a commitment to work together in partnership. This means working together to achieve shared aims, objectives, and outcomes for the benefit of Hft.

Person-Centred Active Support is a way of supporting people so they are engaged in meaningful activity and relationships as active participants, exercising more control over their lives and experiencing greater levels of inclusion, independence and choice. This is the basis of Hft’s Fusion strategy and informs everything we will do.

Person Centred Planning / Practice is a way of working that ensures that everything Hft does is based on what is important to the people we support. All members of staff receive PCP Awareness training.

Personal care is physical assistance given to a person in connection with eating or drinking, toileting (including support of menstruation), teeth cleaning, the care of skin, hair and nails, or the prompting and supervision of a person who is unable to make a decision for themselves about any of these activities without prompting and supervision.

One of the eight strategy segments of the Fusion Model of Support. Personal growth means the people we support will be helped to take control of their lives so they can continue to develop as individuals. This includes embracing new skills and knowledge, widening interests and having new experiences. Everyone we support will have the confidence to express their thoughts and ideas, increasing their self-esteem.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people who were aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013 or who reach age 16 after that date.

Personalisation is a social care approach described by the Department of Health as meaning that “every person who receives support, whether provided by statutory services or funded by themselves, will have choice and control over the shape of that support in all care settings”.

One of the eight strategy segments of the Fusion Model of Support. Personalised Technology (PT) means any technology which enhances the lives of the people we support. This includes specialist technology such as telecare, environmental controls, prompting devices and mainstream technology such as quick cooling hobs and mobile phone technology. Outside Hft it may be called ‘Assistive Technology’ or ‘Person-centred Technology’.

Positive behavioural support uses a structured system of applied behavioural analysis, combined with a strong person-centred value base to understand the causes of challenging behaviour.

A plan of support which focuses on how to manage and reduce behaviour which is challenging. It involves the person being supported wherever possible, and other relevant people eg community nurses, relatives, behavioural therapists etc.

Positive Risk Assessments are intended to enable people to take risks. They make sure that everything is looked at and things put in place to make risks as small as possible.

Prescribed medication is medicine that you can only have if the doctor has given you a prescription for it, such as antibiotics. Non-prescribed medication is medicine that you can buy over the counter from the chemist or pharmacist, for example aspirin or cough medicine. Non-prescribed medicines are sometimes called ‘homely remedies’.

A diagnosis of a profound and multiple learning disability (PMLD) is used when someone has more than one disability, with the most significant being a learning disability. Many people diagnosed with PMLD will also have a sensory or physical disability, complex health needs, or mental health difficulties.


A theme that runs around and through Hft’s Fusion strategy. ‘Quality’ means knowing we are getting it right first time, and every time.

QAFs are used by local authorities to monitor the use of the grant paid to Hft to help a person to live in their own home. They will look to ensure value for money, and that the money is only being spent on housing activities and not on personal support.


These are the residential homes or domiciliary care offices from which Hft provides its two types of Regulated Activity.

HF Trust Ltd (Hft) is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to provide accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care. This applies to Hft residential homes which are are registered with the CQC as care homes without nursing. The registration certificate notes that Hft must not provide nursing care. Both the care and support and the premises are regulated and can only be provided at locations registered with CQC.

HF Trust Ltd (Hft) is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to provide Personal Care. This applies to Hft’s domiciliary care services, and includes support to people in supported living. Domiciliary care services provide support in peoples’ own homes. Personal Care can only be provided at or from locations registered with CQC. This will be the office address. People’s own homes are not regulated.

The RQF replaced the QCF as the government’s framework for creating and accrediting qualifications in England. The Health and Social Care diplomas which many of Hft’s staff acquire, are registered on the RQF. In Wales, the same function is fulfilled by the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW).

Restraint is something that holds you and physically controls or limits your movements. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 defines restraint or restrictive physical intervention as any situation where you: ‘use force – or threaten to use force – to make someone do something that they are resisting’ or ‘restrict a person’s freedom of movement, whether they are resisting or not’.

At Hft, we carry out risk assessments for the people we support, to enable them to lead an ordinary life, without coming to unacceptable harm. See Positive Risk Assessment.


Supported living is defined as persons with disabilities living where and with whom they want, for as long as they want, with the ongoing support needed to sustain that choice. This term is used within Hft to distinguish these services from residential services. Support is provided from Hft’s Domiciliary care agencies which are registered with CQC to provide ‘personal care’.

Supporting People is a government programme for funding, planning and monitoring housing related support services. Its aim is to improve the quality and effectiveness of the support services at a local level. Each Local Authority has a Supporting People team.

An STP is a sustainability and transformation plan produced by the NHS and local councils to develop proposals for health and care in their area. They have now been published in draft for every part of England. They are all at different stages and in February 2017 patients, the public and NHS staff were being consulted on finalising them.

The concerted efforts of all agencies and individuals to prevent potentially vulnerable adults from experiencing abuse or neglect.

A system of social care that puts the person who needs support in control.

This refers to a range of behaviours, including drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs, that a person chooses to do which is not healthy for them, and may cause them harm.

A term previously used to describe people who use our services. We now prefer the term ‘people we support’ as we feel this better reflects the relationship.

This is our sector skills council, the workforce training and development regulators for the social care industry.

Hft has a mobile Smarthouse that is used at exhibitions and conferences. It demonstrates how technology can be used in someone’s home to help them in their daily life. We also have a Virtual Smarthouse (accessed through our website) which provides an interactive demonstration of some of the technologies that can be used to support people at home and make their lives easier day to day.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) improves the lives of people who use care services by sharing knowledge about what works. It describes itself as a leading improvement support agency and an independent charity working with adults’, families’ and children’s care and support services across the UK. SCIE also work closely with related services such as health care and housing.

One of the strategy segments of the Fusion Model of Support. Specialist Skills means using proven expert knowledge and best practice to support people. This includes providing support with physical, mental, emotional and social needs and also meeting syndrome- and time of life-specific needs.

A statement of what outcomes and quality are expected; examples are Hft’s Operational Standards and the CQC’s Fundamental Standards.

Support plans detail the support you will offer a person.


One of the strategy segments of the Fusion Model of Support. Total Communication means that all forms of verbal and non-verbal communication are thoroughly explored and embraced for each individual. This includes all body language, facial expressions, gestures, signing, verbalisation, intonation, photographs, drawings and symbols, written words, objects of reference and access to appropriate technology.


A Vulnerable Adult is a person aged 18 or over ‘who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and, who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation’.

“A person’s or organisation’s beliefs or principles about what is right or wrong.”

Hft’s forum for the people we support to express their views.


Whistleblowing is the act of raising concerns with appropriate authorities about the way care and support is being provided, such as practices that are dangerous, abusive, discriminatory or exploitative – Hft has a Whistleblowing procedure for support staff , all of whom have a duty to ‘whistleblow’.