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Cancer care at home
At The Good Care Group we have been supporting people with the physical and psychological effects of living with cancer for over 10 years, enabling them to live well with cancer, no matter which cancer they have or at which stage they are in their journey. With high quality cancer care, our clients have been able to live a peaceful, fulfilled and meaningful life, all in the comfort of their own home.
In-home care for cancer patients
We understand how devastating a cancer diagnosis can be, to all the family. However, people can live well for many years to come and the right care at home can improve a person’s quality of life. Receiving compassionate care and support in the safety and familiarity of your own home has far reaching benefits in improving wellbeing for a person who is living with cancer. The one-to-one, highly personalised and flexible support we provide from a trained and well-matched carer is proven to improve not only quality of life, but health outcomes for a person with cancer. Our approach to providing high quality cancer care at home, with a fully managed and regulated service that families can trust is setting the standards in live-in care for those who have cancer.
What is a cancer?
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancer develops when the body’s normal control mechanism stops working. Old cells do not die and instead grow out of control, forming new abnormal cells. These extra cells may form a mass tissue, called a tumour, whereas other cancers, such as Leukaemia do not form these mass tissues.
Cancer may occur anywhere in the body. In women, breast cancer is one of the most common cancers, and in men prostate cancer is the most prevalent. Lung cancer and colorectal cancer affect both men and women in high numbers.
There are five main categories of cancer:
- Carcinomas – this begins in the skin or tissues that line the
- Sarcomas – this cancer develops in the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle or other connective tissues
- Leukaemia – this begins in the blood and bone marrow
- Lymphomas – this starts in the immune system
- Central nervous system – this is when cancer develops in the brain and spinal cord
Cancer – facts and stats
- There are around 367,000 new cancer cases in the UK every year – devastatingly that is around 1,000 every day across the country.
- In females in the UK, there were more than 179,000 new cancer cases in 2017. Males accounted for 187,000 new cases in the
- Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer.
- Breast, prostate, lung and bowel cancers together accounted 53% of all new cancer cases in the UK in 2017.
- Each year 36% of all diagnosed cancer cases in the UK are in people aged 75 and over.
- Incidence rates for all cancers combined in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2015-2017).
Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms caused by cancer will vary depending on what part of the body is affected. Some general signs and symptoms associated with, but not specific to, cancer include:
- Lump or area of thickening that can be felt under the skin
- Weight changes, including unintended loss or gain in weight
- Skin changes, such as yellowing, darkening or redness of the skin, sores that will not heal, or changes in existing moles
- Changes in bowel or bladder habits
- Persistent cough or trouble breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Persistent indigestion or discomfort after eating
- Persistent, unexplained muscle or joint pain
- Persistent, unexplained fevers or night sweats
- Unexplained bleeding or bruising
What does our cancer care include?
Specialist nurse-led care
Importantly for those recovering living with cancer, we provide nurse-led care which means our professional carers are trained to monitor and identify any changes in your health, responding appropriately and avoiding any unnecessary hospital admissions. As part of our commitment to delivering high quality cancer patient care at home, we monitor and measure health outcomes to ensure we continually improve the cancer care we provide. When needed, we work with leading nursing companies and other healthcare professionals to ensure any complex medical procedures can be delivered at home.
If you need to attend hospital for radio or chemotherapy, our compassionate carer will accompany you to these visits providing support – just when you need it.
Expert palliative care at home
Our professional carers receive specialist training in how to care and support a person approaching the end of life, supporting both their medical, social and emotional needs. Our high quality palliative care service is a holistic approach tailored to manage symptoms and support any complex medical procedures which may be needed. Our flexible approach to planning care at this stage in someone’s cancer care journey is focused on promoting comfort and dignity, whilst ensuring a person’s needs, wishes and choices are met right to the very end of life.
Managing and administering medications
We know how important it is to effectively manage medications for those living with cancer. Our professional carers are trained in medications management and use an electronic medications system to ensure all medications are managed proactively and efficiently. They will also collect prescriptions from the pharmacy.
Ensuring safe mobility in and around the home
Uniquely, we have an in-house Occupational Therapist, Jackie Cooper who will provide expert guidance and advice as to what equipment can help improve safe movement and mobility around your home, whilst providing recommendations as to home adaptations that will make life at home easier.
Providing discreet and sensitive personal care
This can include the task-orientated aspects of caring for someone, like bathing and getting dressed, but also those that promote self-esteem, like having your nails maintained, or your hair styled.
Planning and cooking meals
We understand the importance of nutrition and how appetite can change when living with cancer and the effects of treatment. We work with our clients to create specialist menu plans that meet their needs and preferences. If you need help to feed yourself, our carer is on hand to support you with this.
Facilitating social arrangements in the home
Your carer will ensure you can invite friends over for socialisation and celebrations, providing the support you need to enjoy yourself and not worry about organising anything.
Trips and visits out of the home in your local community
Our carers know how important it is to ensure you can continue to do as much you wish and that you remain connected to your local community – whether that is a stroll round the local park or attending clubs or groups in the local area or visiting friends or those shops you always have.
This includes cleaning of all rooms and vacuuming throughout to keep your house to the standards of cleanliness and tidiness you
Caring for your much-loved pet
Carers will happily support looking after your pet, including taking dogs for regular walks.
Short term care or respite care
With a full time, live-in care arrangement a professional carer will live with you in your home providing around the clock care and support, focused on improving your overall health and wellbeing, whilst enhancing the quality of your life. There are many benefits of 24 hour care, not least that the carer will truly get to know you as a person, not just your care needs but they will be on hand to support you to live life the way you wish, with as much independence as possible.
Respite care or a short term arrangement provide an opportunity for a family carer to take a much needed break from caring for someone with cancer or for you to try live-in care for the first time to see how live-in care works and whether it is the right choice for you in
"All the patients and families I have recommended have received an excellent service and The Good Care Group has made significant improvements to their quality of life."
Why choose The Good Care Group for home healthcare for cancer patients?
There are many compelling reasons to use The Good Care Group for high quality cancer care.
At The Good Care Group, we understand that being able to discuss a person's cancer care is important. Our carers are experienced in facilitating discussions about needs, preferences and wishes with respect and sensitivity.
We train our carers to support health and wellbeing. They will devise nutrition plans that meet the needs of someone living with cancer and create exercise and relaxation regimes that promote independence and enjoyment in life. Maintaining a positive outlook is so important for someone living with cancer and our compassionate carers will support a person’s emotional and psychological needs to build self-esteem and mental wellbeing. We focus our care on ensuring any individual with a life-limiting illness or terminal condition can live well with an improved quality of life.
A specialist pathway for palliative care
For those who are living with cancer and require palliative care at home our highly personalised and flexible care plan is proven to not only meet a person’s care needs, but also to improve their quality of life, no matter where they are in their journey.
Our trained professional carers, who are supported by our in-house Specialist Nurse Consultant are focused on ensuring an individual’s choices and wishes are respected, whilst effectively managing symptoms right to the very end of life. Our approach to providing high quality palliative care at home, with a fully managed and regulated service that families can trust is setting the standards in live-in care for those who are nearing, or at the end-of-life.
We have been working with palliative care consultant, Dr Kathryn Mannix a leader in the field of expert end-of-life care and author of ‘With the End in Mind’. Our care management team has been extensively trained by Dr Mannix to equip them with the skills and confidence to sensitively encourage positive conversations with our clients about the dying process as early in care planning as reasonably possible, which is so important to ensuring a plan of care is in place that respects individual wishes and preferences. We have created a palliative care training programme endorsed by Dr Mannix, which all our professional carers complete during their induction training before being placed with a client.
This approach has seen us reduce anxiety and emotional upset for individual’s living with terminal or life-limited illness, but also for families who are reassured that the right plan of care is in place, in good time for their loved one.
Access to our experts
Our expert Occupational Therapist, Jackie Cooper provides our clients with the support they need to live safely and well at home, with all the equipment and any home adaptations they need to help them to live a fulling life, as independently as possible.
We work closely with and liaise with all other healthcare professionals involved in delivering care to someone with cancer, including GP’s, district nurses and physiotherapists to ensure all health needs through a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to care planning.
We have a dedicated in-house Specialist Consultant Nurse, Dr Jane Pritchard who develops, leads and supports our approach to delivering high quality care at home for those living with cancer. Dr Pritchard will ensure our care teams are supported to not only effectively manage medications but are able to provide support with several complex medical inventions.
Innovating care delivery through technology
Unlike any other live-in home care provider in the UK, we have invested in creating our own market-leading technology to further enhance our service. Through the development of an online community for our clients, their families and our professional carers, we are proactive and responsive to emerging issues, whilst enabling the softer social benefits that technology brings. The secure site is focused on ensuring our carers are equipped to effectively deliver the high-quality cancer care our clients should expect, whilst delivering improvements in health outcomes. Our families can access important information about the care of their loved one, providing a reassuring window into the care they are receiving.
Our professional carers use the community through a Chromebook to complete daily care records, update care plans, monitor nutrition and hydration and manage medications proactively so they are never missed. This allows us to effectively monitor the health outcomes of our client’s care, so we can prevent and respond to incidents and ensure the very highest quality of care is always provided. The online community also allows our professional carers to network, support each other and share best practice, resulting in them feeling less isolated in their roles, something very common in live-in care.
For families who may live some distance away from their loved one, they can access care plans, care records and a calendar of events as and when they wish, offering much-needed peace of mind. We are proud that this community offers families a transparent and immediate insight into our service. The technology also provides families with financial information relating to their care package in a timely and accurate way. They can also connect with our other clients’ families who may well be in a similar situation as themselves, so they can share their care experiences and support one another.
Our professional carers will utilise the technology for their clients’ socialisation and enjoyment – everything from video calls with family members so they feel connected, online shopping to general
Improving health outcomes
At The Good Care Group every decision is driven by delivering improved health outcomes for our clients. Through our dedicated and committed approach to providing high quality cancer care to our clients and the use of our market-leading digital technology, we can evidence year on year significant improvements in our clients’ overall health and wellbeing.
Unique to the live-in home care market, the technology we use enables us to effectively and regularly monitor, analyse and measure the care we provide to gain valuable insights that inform and shape the care we provide. This technology also allows us to identify any risks in a timely manner ensuring we can put steps in place to avoid unnecessary interventions and hospital admissions. We then benchmark our data to demonstrate how effective our care is in improving the quality of our client’s lives in the context of other types of care provision, for example care homes.
Our health measures are focused on achieving the following:
- Promoting wellbeing, independence and enjoyment
- Reducing behaviours that challenge through psychosocial techniques
- Reducing and eliminating antipsychotic drug use
- Promoting excellence in nutrition and hydration
- Reducing and preventing falls in the home
- Reducing hospital admissions and re-admission
- Reducing UTI’s and chest infections
- Reducing carer stress
We are proud to be transforming health outcomes for those who require care at home. In 2020 our care teams achieved the following outcomes for those they cared for:
Proactive Monitoring of Chest Infections
Our vigilant carers manage early signs of illness, such as chest infections enabling timely intervention to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions. This has resulted in a 28% reduction in chest infection hospital admissions.
Reducing urinary tract infections (UTI’s)
Through enhanced training our professional carers can perform urinalysis tests. This means they can provide timely information to GP’s, enabling a quick diagnosis and treatment. 80% of our clients were diagnosed in 2020 using urinalysis kits. Through the introduction of testing, our clients are three times less likely to require emergency interventions involving a 999 call or ambulance call out when a urine test is completed.
Unrivalled falls prevention programmes
In England alone, 30% of people over the age of 65 fall at least once a year and for those 80 and over it is 50%. By comparison, only 7% of our clients aged 65 and over fell at least once, and that was only 6% for those aged 80 or over.
Our clients are six times less likely to suffer a serious injury as a result of a fall than residents living in a residential care home. This is a result of our quality one-to-one care, which just cannot be achieved in even the very best care home, and our effective personalised falls management programmes.
Working with our in-house Occupational Therapist, we identify clients who are ‘frequent fallers’ and through an intensive and personalised approach to falls management resulted in 50% of our clients never falling again.
A specialist pathway for palliative care at home
For those with a life-limiting illness or a terminal condition, most of us given the choice would wish to end our days in the comfort of our own home. However, the percentage of people in the general population who can do that is as low as 19%. By comparison, our approach to one-to-one palliative care at home has enabled 81% of our clients to pass away in the place they love most – their own home.
Effective pressure sore management
Our high-quality home care provided by dedicated and professional carers has seen a staggering reduction in pressure sores in those we care for when compared to both hospital and care home settings. Comparative data shows that you are 13 times less likely to acquire a pressure sore in The Good Care Group's care when compared to a hospital and 26 times less likely when compared to care home rates.
Efficient management of medications
Our digital technology is used proactively to effectively support safe administration of medications, which has seen error rates of 2.4% compared to a 22% error rate in care home settings.
Reducing the use of antipsychotic medication for those living with dementia
The use of antipsychotic medication to treat dementia symptoms has been increasingly challenged over the last ten years, as they have been shown to be harmful for people living with dementia and are at times prescribed unnecessarily. Through our approach to professional and specialist one-to-one care for those living with dementia, and the use of our market leading digital technology (eMAR) our clients are four times less likely to be prescribed antipsychotic medication than residents of care homes.
Peace of mind and reassurance for families
Rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The Good Care Group is the only live-in care provider in the UK to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating by CQC across all five categories – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. We know this provides families with peace of mind that their loved one is receiving the best possible cancer care.
A fully managed cancer care service
We provide a fully managed and regulated cancer care service which offers families reassurance at a time they need it most. Unlike introduction agencies who are not regulated by CQC, all our carers are directly employed and managed by us. We ensure they are supervised by an experienced manager and supported by clinical experts – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Local teams with national coverage
We operate nationwide with a local approach to management of our teams near you. Each dedicated care manager has as small portfolio of clients to support, enabling the care team to provide a tailored one-to-one approach with the highest levels of monitoring and support.
"My mother had both liver and lung cancer and despite two rounds of chemotherapy did not respond well. She went into a nursing home for two weeks respite care, but it was clear she was not going to get better. We decided then to put cancer care at home in place and contacted The Good Care Group. They were outstanding from the outset. In less than a week they assessed my mother’s needs in the nursing home, checked the house and enabled her to move back home by providing a wonderful care team to look after her. They took all the stress and strain out of organising things and liaising with doctors, district nurses and the hospice team to ensure everything was ready and in place for her. The carers were truly fantastic with mum – so caring, understanding and nothing was too much trouble. They made my mother’s last weeks as comfortable and peaceful as possible. I cannot thank The Good Care Group enough and would happily recommend them to anyone needing 24-hour care at home."
What is included in our service?
Our highly personalised and flexible cancer care at home service includes:
- Full assessment before care starts
- Access to clinical expertise and medical support
- Bespoke and flexible care plan developed with input from the family and other healthcare professionals
- Matching of the most suitable care team to meet the holistic needs of our clients
- Dedicated care team led by an expert regional care manager
- Meal planning and household tasks
- Social activities and lifestyle enhancement
- Specialist support and expertise - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Costs of our cancer care
The cost of care for cancer patient care at home will be typically higher as it is a specialist care at home service.
It is worth considering however that live-in care is often cheaper than the total cost of domiciliary care for in home care for cancer patients. When a person is receiving hourly care, provided by a domiciliary care provider it is likely that you will be charged extras for additional services to support the person’s specific cancer care needs on top of the cost of a carer visiting. These extras add up and can become costly over time. The total cost to provide hourly care to someone living with high or complex needs can sometimes exceed the price of an inclusive live-in care service.
Care and support for cancer patients at home is typically in line with – and sometimes less than – what you would pay for residential care, with the added benefit of receiving one-to-one tailored care, something that cannot be achieved in a care home.
We are committed to supporting families through their cancer journey with information that helps inform their decisions when planning long term care. There are several high-profile cancer charities in the UK who support families facing the condition, so you are not doing
The UK’s leading cancer charity Cancer Research provides information, support and advice to those facing cancer. They have a wealth of free publications you can access on their website providing information about prevention, treatments and a range of support services available across the country.
Marie Curie is a charity who provides care and support for those living with terminal illness, including cancer. Marie Curie nurses are available to those affected by cancer to provide medical care, as well as all the emotional support you and your family may need, all in the comfort of your own home.
Cancer Support UK provides practical and emotional support to people living with cancer focused on helping them through their treatment period. Their Cancer Coach programme is an eight-week structured support and resilience course, delivered by phone for people nearing the end of cancer treatment or for those who have finished their treatment.