Ask the Care Specialists

Welcome to our 'Ask the Care Specialists', your one-stop portal for social care-related questions. Our team of specialists will try to answer as many of your Social Care questions as possible.

Does a care home have a legal duty to cut and clean residents’ finger nails?

Does a care home have a legal duty to cut and clean residents’ finger nails?

Thank You for your question.

The feet and nails require special care in order to avoid pain and infection.  Fingernails should be kept short and neat; nail clippers are recommended for the trimming of nails and emery boards for filing to prevent jagged edges. For new staff, it would be good practice to assess competency for this task to ensure staff can safely use nail clippers and understand individual risks - This includes people who may be on anticoagulants who may be at risk of excessive bleeding. All of this should be detailed in any individual personal care care plans. Service users should have their own nail clippers and files from an infection control perspective.

Nail care should always be included in the care plan detailing whether the person can maintain their own nail care, whether family support or whether staff need to do this. Mental capacity should also be considered.

Please note that toe nails require a chiropodist and care staff do not normally undertake this.

Therefore, in answer to your question, this is a fundamental aspect of care and is covered by many regulations such a person centered care, safety and privacy and dignity. Failure to meet a person's needs in order to keep them safe and well would be a neglect of duties  and a potential safeguarding issue.

Kind Regards

What would you like to ask our Specialists?

Have you got a social care question that you just can't find the answer to? Our team of sector specialists is here to provide you with easy-to-understand top tips on a wide range of topics, from dementia, mental health to employment law or every day operational queries to help you deliver outstanding care.

We try to answer as many of your questions as possible. We give priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends. To learn more about the team visit:

Please note that our specialists cannot offer answers to matters requiring legal advice. Please do have a look at our website at other answers provided by our experts and in our Expert Insights section There is a wealth of information here freely accessible that could help you.

Important note: We are not in any way affiliated or connected to the Care Quality Commission, Care Inspectorate Scotland, or Care Inspectorate Wales. If your query relates to someone who is at risk of harm or in danger, you must follow your local safeguarding procedures. It is important that you speak to your regulator who will provide you with the best guidance and support.

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