As the number of people being cared for at home continues to rise, the health care sector is having to make dramatic changes and provision for the ever increasing demands.
A North East healthcare company is gearing up for the new Government Plan and preparing for the changing healthcare horizon.
Aberdeen based, H1 Healthcare, a major provider of experienced and qualified agency staff, and a highly valued provider of care staff training and development, has established a new division called Care at Home. Registered by the Care Commission (re-branded on April 1st as SCSWIS – Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland), H1 Healthcare Care at Home will provide care and support at home for a wide range of individuals including the elderly and disabled.
Across Scotland, health services and local authorities are continuing to shift the balance of care from hospitals and care homes, into the community, pushed by demographic change.
Government statistics show that life expectancy in Scotland has risen in only thirty years from 69 to 75 for men, and from 75 to 80 for women. The implications for health and social care are clear – more elderly people in the population will place increasing demands on health services.
Cost is not the only issue. Health policy since the 1990’s in the UK as a whole has seen a growing commitment to enabling people to stay in their own homes as long as possible, reserving hospital care and residential provision for those who need it most.
H1 Healthcare has identified this as an ideal opportunity to provide an exceptional service for local communities.
‘The government are giving service users direct payments, which means they have the autonomy to purchase their own care,’ says Pam Easen. A ‘Needs Assessment’ is carried out by the Local Authority, and costs will be agreed, and then the service user will get funding to purchase their own package of care, to suit the way they want it to be delivered. It’s giving people independence as well as freedom of choice.’
People who have discussed a care plan with their doctor or care management team could then contract with companies such as H1 Healthcare, which would provide qualified and experienced staff to care for them at home. The company can provide Personal Assistants, Care staff, the Human Resources and Payroll and Financial Reporting Services required to make such a scheme work effectively.
They’re also designing re-ablement “step down” packages for when people are discharged from hospital. Staff will support the service user to regain their independence during the home based recovery period. H1 Healthcare are also able to offer “step up” packages of care, to help people through those periods where they need extra support to avoid a hospital admission. With access to experienced Registered Nurses, H1 Healthcare are also able to offer homecare services for those who have complex, life limiting or degenerative conditions.
The new division will be headed by Gwen Robertson, a highly experienced nurse and healthcare manager, who comes to Aberdeenshire from the central belt, where she was group operations director for Independent Living Services across Scotland.
Pam Easen added: ‘Gwen is particularly knowledgeable in this area so she’s the perfect addition for the team. This is a very challenging new direction for the company and we are confident that Gwen is the best person for the job.’
Gwen Robinson added that she is particularly excited that more choice and control is being passed to the service user; emphasising that in most cases they and their unpaid carers are the experts in knowing what works best for them. H1 Healthcare is well positioned to provide the flexible services needed and Gwen is delighted to be given the opportunity to head up this new service for local communities across the country.
‘As the pressure on public funds increases, “partnership is the way forward”, says Gwen. Homecare services must work in partnership with the service users and the public services to maximise the value from each £ of public funding. Each partner has a role to play. By offering a “pick–n–mix” menu of service options within affordable funding rates, H1 Healthcare can support service users to tailor their services more closely to their personal goals. ‘
H1 Healthcare is looking for Care at Home Support Workers to work in a variety of rewarding client settings throughout Aberdeenshire. With free training, no experience is required, just a caring attitude and a flexible approach to work.
Gwen added: The excellent training H1 Healthcare is able to offer their homecare staff was a factor in my decision to join the H1 team – training is an essential key to the provision of high quality responsive services.’