Standard 5 - Requirement (3) (a)
The service environment is welcoming and easy to understand, and optimises each consumer’s sense of belonging, independence, interaction and function.
Intent of this requirement
This requirement is about creating a service environment that is well designed and welcoming for all consumers and encourages a sense of belonging.
Consumers will experience service environments differently, depending on their backgrounds, situations and what they expect from an organisation. A service environment that’s designed to be inclusive helps all consumers feel welcome. A service environment that looks familiar to a consumer helps them feel that the organisation is welcoming them. It lets them know they can be themselves in the service environment.
The physical, emotional and social features of a space are all important parts of creating a welcoming service environment for consumers. This includes design, the feeling of being supported, and the quality of the relationships consumers develop with the workforce and other consumers and visitors to the service environment.
A service environment that’s easy to understand is particularly important. Age-related changes and disabilities can make it more difficult for consumers to understand and get around in buildings and spaces. Such impairments can include hearing or sensory loss, and declining mobility and cognitive impairment. For example, the service environment can help maximise a consumer’s function by reducing the level of unnecessary or competing noise or clutter.
- How does the organisation ask for advice to create a welcoming and easy-to-understand service environment for all consumers? How have they used this advice?
- What signals does the service environment give about who the organisation accepts and provides care and services for? Do the posters, photographs, artwork, magazines or reading materials in public areas show that this is an inclusive service environment?
- How does the organisation make sure the service environment maximises support for consumers’ independence and ability? What environmental strategies are in place to improve function and independence for consumers with sensory loss, such as hearing or vision loss or a cognitive impairment? For example, noise management, lighting, colour contrast, signage, textures and design.
- How does the organisation deal with any challenges that consumers are having getting around the service environment?
Examples of actions and evidence
- Consumers say the service environment is welcoming to them, their friends, family visitors (and pets where agreed). They say the service environment encourages a sense of belonging.
- Consumers say they have spaces to interact with others and spaces for quiet reflection. They also have spaces for religious or cultural practices and private spaces if they need them.
- Consumers say they can find their way around easily and can easily get to key locations, such as dining areas or a suitable bathroom.
- Consumers say they decide on the decoration, furnishings and layout of their bedroom. This includes bringing their own furniture and fittings (where agreed).
Workforce and others
- The workforce can describe how the organisation removes barriers that might exclude some consumers. This makes sure the service environment is welcoming to all consumers.
- The workforce can describe strategies to support consumers to get around the service environment at their own pace and with dignity.
- The workforce can show how different consumers can use the service environment in different ways. This means the service environment supports all consumers’ independence and ability.
- Workforce orientation, training or other records that show how the organisation supports the workforce in this requirement.
- Observations of the service environment show that consumers’ rooms have a personal character and feel.
- Evidence that the organisation takes steps to understand how consumers experience the service environment.
- Evidence that the organisation monitors and can adapt the service environment to support a consumer’s changing needs such as a decline in mental or physical ability. This means the consumer can continue to do the things that are important to them.