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.

What can I do if I am unhappy about visiting a service user who is a heavy smoker?

What can I do if I am unhappy about visiting a service user who is a heavy smoker?

The health and safety of staff should be safeguarded by a service, alongside ensuring the support and care needs of service users are being met. With this in mind, a service should put in place robust care plan and risk assessment processes and clearly document where a service user smokes in their own home. Although this is not something that can be stopped, steps should be in place to minimise exposure to second-hand smoke, such as no smoking an hour prior to your visit or smoking in designated rooms.


In a situation where you are experiencing exposure to second-hand smoke on visits, in the first instance, I would highlight your concerns to your manager. This should trigger a review of the service user’s care plan and risk assessments to ascertain if the service user is in breach of the Smoking Policy and Procedure in place when they started with the service. Following the review, the necessary action should be taken, including any further steps to mitigate your exposure and this should be monitored.

Emily Kerrigan

Domiciliary Care Policy Lead

Emily has a background in quality and compliance with specific expertise in audit. Her previous roles have included working with domiciliary care branches that required improvement and supporting them to action plan and improve their quality and compliance. Working at one of the largest UK domiciliary care providers ensured Emily was exposed to significant numbers of CQC, CIW and Care Inspectorate Scotland inspections. She led internal audits bench marking against regulatory standards , supporting managers in the drive to deliver high quality care and support. Emily has a proven track record in supporting the transformation of branches that require improvement, moving them to compliant and on the journey to outstanding. Read more

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.

    Join over 130,000 users already using the QCS Management System!
    Start Free Trial Buy Now
    Back to Top