Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

25th October 2017

Can Support Workers in a Residential Care Home for People with Special Needs cut Toenails?

Dear Sheila

Can support workers in a residential care home for people with special needs cut toenails? If they need training, where do you look for appropriate training please?


Dear K,


Thank you for your question.


I know that whether or not a care worker should undertake the cutting of service user's toenails does cause confusion but I believe that the process to be gone through is relatively straightforward.


The service should have a policy on the cutting of toenails and part of the policy should be about a risk assessment for each individual service user and the points to be included in that risk assessment.


If the risk assessment finds that it is safe for a care worker to cut the nails then the Registered Manager must satisfy themselves that the care worker has the necessary competencies. This must all, of course, be properly recorded.


If there are any perceived risks associated with a service user such as diabetes, then the GP should be consulted and most probably a referral would be made to the chiropody service.


It is important that these steps are carried out to protect both the care worker and, more importantly, the service user.


With best wishes.




*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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