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Hospital Discharge Care – If you have had a short illness or an operation, you might only need care for a short time -Coastal Homecare Hospital Discharge Team is here to help you to get back to normal.
The aim of this type of short-term care is to help you:
- – look after yourself rather than having someone care for you
- – stay as independent as possible
- – avoid unnecessary hospital stays
Need help finding a good Sussex care provider?
Choosing the best care provider for your Mum or Dad in Brighton – or anywhere in Sussex – can be daunting and time-consuming.
So it’s wise to arm yourself with objective advice from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the independent regulator of health and social care in England.
You’ll find bags of useful advice on the CQC website. The CQC’s extensive experience is due to the fact that it’s responsible for registering all care homes and home care agencies. And it also carries out frequent checks on all social care providers in the South East – including care services in Worthing, Eastbourne, Chichester, Haywards Heath, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton.
Five key CQC questions
When the CQC inspects services it asks five key questions. Is this service safe? Is this service effective? Is this service caring? Is this service responsive to people’s needs? Is this service well-led? The CQC rates services on a four-point scale – ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ and ‘inadequate’. The ratings help you make an informed choice about the care provider you choose.
So what should you expect from a good home care agency? The staff who look after your Mum or Dad need to be skilled, kind and supportive. They should also be capable and confident in dealing with the particular needs of your loved one. Mum or Dad should feel the social care provider is helping them live the life they want to.
“When you’re choosing social care for Mum or Dad it’s wise to get the CQC’s help and advice so you can check that an agency is CQC registered,” says Ronnie Chatterton-Sim from Coastal Homecare in Worthing. “If you choose a home care provider, they should be an agency that can provide a wide range of different and flexible care services.”
Flexible range of services
The range of domiciliary care services can be categorised as personal care, home care and social care. Personal care covers things like getting your Mum up in the morning, washing and dressing her, making the bed, helping her visit the bathroom and assisting with medication.
Home care includes doing the laundry, ironing, cleaning the house, watering plants and taking out rubbish. Social care includes help with doctors’ and hospital appointments, leisure trips out, shopping trips and going to church.
But these are just a few examples. A good domiciliary services agency should be able to help out in many more ways. And be highly flexible.
“A good care agency knows what it’s like to have a family member who requires support with their daily living needs,” says Ronnie Chatterton-Sim.
“They know what you should expect from a care service and can be flexible. So if there’s something you need help with that’s not listed on their website or brochure, they’ll be able to tailor the care to suit an individual’s needs.”
CQC finds more poorly-managed care homes
Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection visits continue to uncover many inadequate care homes.
The latest visits help to highlight why choosing good quality home care in Brighton or Worthing may be a better alternative to a local care home for your Mum or Dad.
On 1 December 2015 the CQC announced it has compiled reports on 68 care homes in the north of England http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/cqc-inspectors-publish-reports-68-adult-social-care-services-north-england and a further 59 in the south http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/cqc-inspectors-publish-reports-59-adult-social-care-services-south-england.
Among those inspected were a number that were classified as inadequate. That means the CQC will consider taking action against the provider on behalf of the residents. It’s a signal that immediate action should be taken to make improvements.
Sussex care homes need to improve
Two were in East Sussex. At one, the inspectors “continued to find people did not have their care planned and delivered in such a way as to meet their individual needs” and “people were still not protected from the risks of inadequate nutrition and hydration”. At the other, the CQC identified a “lack of appropriate employment checks” on care staff and “some concerns with the management of medicines”.
A number of the care homes visited also “required improvement” – including one in Worthing. This means a home has to provide the CQC with a full plan setting out how the issues of concern will be addressed. Inspectors will then return to check the required improvements have been made.
Worthing care home breaches regulations
At the Worthing home, there were two breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. Problems highlighted included “people’s medicines were not always managed so they received them safely” and “some aspects of the service were not well led”.
The advantages of choosing home care in the south east, rather than a residential care home, have been well-documented and researched over the past two decades. If you need help finding a provider there’s guidance available from the NHS http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/Pages/home-care.aspx and also lots of useful information on the UK Home Care Association (UKHCA) http://www.ukhca.co.uk/index.aspx website.
Ronnie Chatterton-Sim from Coastal Homecare in Worthing explains: “There’s a significant amount of evidence that shows most people prefer to receive care in their own homes – as opposed to going into a residential setting where they are in unfamiliar surroundings. Helping your parents remain in their own home where they have many memories, can also be extremely beneficial to their health and well-being. A good home care provider will regularly review the service provided to ensure they receive precisely the care and attention they need.”
Planning ahead is essential to ensure the best quality care is available for you or your elderly relative.
Good quality home care is now in high demand across Sussex and the south east, so it’s prudent to set aside funds to ensure you can get the best.
Ideally making plans 10 or even 20 years earlier will make it a lot easier to select the best care available at the time it’s needed. However, for many people, finding funds remains an immediate and pressing issue.
Care is essential expenditure
Ronnie Chatterton-Sim from Coastal Homecare in Worthing explains: “The cost of quality home care is easily affordable if funding plans are made well in advance. In fact it’s a good idea to apply the same principles that we all use when setting aside money for essentials such as housing, cars and pensions because paying for care in later life is an equally essential expenditure for most people.”
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says state benefits may provide some help with funding, but this may not be enough for the full cost of long term care. So most people should also consider some form of long term care insurance.
The ABI recommends making contact with The Society of Later Life Advisers http://societyoflaterlifeadvisers.co.uk/what-we-do/ who will help you find an independent adviser to guide you through all the options. An adviser will help you consider how to make best use of any savings and investments or equity release on your property. They can also help you identify which state benefits you may be entitled to. Such advice may come at a small cost but it removes the hassle of doing it yourself.
Long term care options
There’s also useful information from the free and impartial Money Advice Service (MAS) https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/self-funding-your-long-term-care-your-options. Among the many self-funding options MAS outlines are immediate need care fee payment plans. They are a type of annuity that provides a regular income in exchange for an upfront lump sum. They’re also known as immediate care plans or immediate needs annuities.
Such plans may be suitable if your Mum or Dad is already receiving care at home. It provides you with the peace of mind that there is a regular income for life that can be used towards care costs, whatever happens.
Friendly and attentive carers
Funding quality home care may involve a significant long term outlay because the quality of care depends very much on a provider being able to employ staff who are well-trained, diligent, friendly and flexible.
Planning ahead therefore ensures the funding is available so that you, or your relative, can enjoy a high standard of care in the comfort of your own home.
Number of Clients 74
Number of Surveys returned 36
Return Rate 49%
NB: Not all of the questions were answered by all of the Clients
Q Poor Adequate Average Good Very Good % of Clients who replied Good or Very Good
1 How do you feel your care package from Coastal Homecare is going ? 1 0 2 13 20
3% 0% 6% 36% 56% 92%
2 How do you feel you are treated by the management team? 1 3 1 13 17
3% 8% 3% 36% 47% 83%
3 Are you able to have time with management to discuss issues you may be concerned with? 0 3 3 13 14
0% 8% 8% 36% 39% 75%
4 Do you feel that members of staff respect your dignity at all times? 0 1 0 8 26
0% 3% 0% 22% 72% 94%
5 Do you feel that members of staff respect your privacy at all times? 0 0 1 9 25
0% 0% 3% 25% 69% 94%
6 Do you feel that members of staff respect you choices at all times? 1 0 4 6 19
3% 0% 11% 17% 53% 69%
7 Do you feel that members of staff promote your independence at all times? 1 0 2 8 19
3% 0% 6% 22% 53% 75%
8 Are you satisfied with the continuity of the care staff that supports you ? 1 1 3 7 21
3% 3% 8% 19% 58% 78%
* I would just like to say what a caring person TG is
* Very happy with all your staff and Janet & Mum get on very well. So glad we have her.
* I am more than satisfied with my regular Carers
* We have been extremely pleased with the service Coastal Home Care has provided
* All the staff are friendly as well as being approachable
* Keep up the great work!
* From the moment I came out of the hospital the Carers have been most attentive and friendly, I enjoy
* very grateful and this has given her the independence she wants, but could not have without your care
How to find the best home care provider
How do you choose a good home care provider for your Parents, Relative or Friend in need? There are a number of companies to choose from in West and East Sussex. But there are a few things to check to make the right choice.
Firstly, have the provider’s care staff gone through a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check? Under UK law, all carers must go through a DBS check to ensure there’s nothing in their past that might put your loved one at risk.
Ronnie Chatterton-Sim from Coastal Homecare in Worthing explains: “All home care staff should undergo thorough interviews and training. They also have to provide two work references and one character reference. And the DBS check is mandatory because it’s essential to ensure the carers have no criminal background that might place someone at risk in their own home.”
A good home care provider will also visit the client’s home at the outset to assess precisely what assistance is needed. Then, once you’re signed up, it’s essential there are regular reviews to ensure the care schedule remains the right one for your Parents.
“We review the care after the first six weeks to see whether the client is happy with what’s being provided, and then on a rolling three-monthly basis,” says Ronnie. “It could be the care initially agreed is too short – or too long – or it requires new features. A good home care provider will be flexible. They can adjust their care provision to meet the needs of different people. So that care is always tailored to the needs of each individual.”
Professional home care is also about providing respite for family carers. If a carer needs a break for only a few hours, the home care provider should able to sit with your relative so that you can go out for the evening or have a rest.
To help you choose a quality agency covering Sussex and the south east, you can visit the UKHCA website http://www.ukhca.co.uk/index.aspx. It’s the professional association of home care providers and a central source of information which will help you make an informed choice about care for your family.
It’s also essential a provider is registered with the UK’s independent regulator, the Care Quality Commission. The CQC oversees all aspects of personal care http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/regulated-activities#personal-care , in the UK.
Coastal Homecare will soon be holding open days at their offices to attract and recruit new Home Carers. Watch this space for upcoming dates.