West Dunbartonshire CHCP recognised that the RCOP agenda offered both opportunities and risks to providers of care. In developing a cohort of managers involved in My Home Life we are attempting to support our Managers to embrace the changes which RCOP will bring and also support them to engage with key decision makers in order that they can help direct the future provision of care in order that it better meets the needs of those receiving care. Whilst promoting the delivery of high quality care.
The challenges included shifting from institutional based care to care at home or a homely setting, the need for quicker assessment and care plan coordination and formulation in a more homely setting taking into account the person’s conditions and home situation instead of needs and support being assessed in a ward setting.
This training initiative was originally aimed to increase knowledge and skills of NHS and local authority staff in how to prevent, assess and respond to distress in dementia for individuals with dementia, their families and carers – this approach is now being rolled out to independent sector care home staff.
By 2011 telecare had evolved slowly in Aberdeen and it became evident that in order to mainstream efficiently it had to be incorporated into the Community Alarm service. We were then faced with the issue that we required additional staff to assess, review and more importantly raise awareness on telecare provision. Both professionals and the public had little knowledge of the benefits of telecare and how vital it was as part of the Community Care Assessment.
Studies showed that very few members of the public considered Telecare until/unless the option was highlighted to them by a health or social care professional. The project has the opportunity to raise staff awareness eg by road shows, so that they in turn can be more confident in highlighting to service users and carers. Many people had been issued with telecare through funding from the National Telecare Development Programme, but the provision had never been reviewed. Although professionals understood the concept of telecare, information on referrals received demonstrated the lack of knowledge on how the equipment functioned and what the best solution was for the person.
An agreement was drawn up with three Care Homes within the Kilmarnock area for one room in each home for the purpose of rehabilitation. The steps up step down beds (as now named) have been purchased by local authority and change fund money. They will offer an alternative to hospital admission or an early supported discharge when the patient/service users can not be supported at home but are not unwell enough to stay in hospital. The care homes have embraced this service working closely with all concerned to ensure that the agreed outcomes are met.
Initially getting appropriate referrals was difficult as after assessment, we found we were able support the majority of service users/patients within their own home. At present we are working with the local GPS and Geriatricians to build up trust and confidence in this service so they will refer more complex cases that require the twenty four hour support from the team within the care home.