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.

14th June 2017

Trimming nails?

Can a carer cut a client's fingernails?

Dear Christine,


Thank you for your question.


The first is that if it is expected that the fingernails should be trimmed then this should be identified in the care plan.


The carer should be identified as being competent to carry out the task.


In some cases it might be that the nails should be filed rather than clipped but this is a matter for each individual client's risk assessment.


There should be a policy in place. That policy should identify what equipment should be used, by this I mean that the appropriate equipment should be used i.e. no scissors.


I would not expect that toenails would be cut by a carer.


I hope this is helpful but it remains essential that the appropriate process is followed to mitigate risk to the service user.


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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