What is specialist care?
Specialist care is a service available to those who have a range of different health care needs that are slightly more complex and who wish to recieve live-in care at home. This type of care can be delivered to those with a specialist health condition who would benefit from additional support from an experienced clinician.
Conditions that typically have extra support available are:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Stroke aftercare
- General frailty
- Post-operative support
- Rehabilitation after a fall or hospital admission
The aim of specialist care is to enable those who require additional input with their care needs to live a fulfilled and comfortable life at home, without having to move into residential or nursing care.
What is involved in our Specialist Care Service?
Our specialist service offers a multidisciplinary approach (MDT), within which one of our in-house, specialist clinicians will be allocated to lead the person’s care which will be either:
- Our Consultant Admiral Nurse, Dr Jane Pritchard
- Our specialist Occupational Therapist Jackie Cooper
You may have the input of both experts or just one, depending on what your care requirements are and the level of support you need. Both of our clinicians will work with you, your loved ones and other health professionals, taking a multidisciplinary approach. That way, your care plan is tailored to your needs and preferences, and care can be delivered in a seamless, professional manner.
Our nurse-led pathway is available for those living with complex health needs, and is led by Dr Pritchard. It forms part of our specialist service offer which sees our Consultant Admiral Nurse working closely with our Occupational Therapist to share expertise and clinical skills to enable our care teams deliver high-quality, specialist care at home.
Our OT-led specialist service is overseen by our in-house Occupational Therapist, Jackie Cooper, and provides support and oversight to ensure that people can live safely and well at home. Our OT-led service drives improved outcomes for people at high risk of falling, with mobility challenges or goals, and for those transitioning home from hospital or another care setting.
Meet our experts
The Good Care Group has two lead clinicians that oversee all of our specialist care clients – Dr Jane Pritchard, Consultant Admiral Nurse, and Jackie Cooper, Occupational Therapist. Between them, they have over 50 years’ experience in healthcare.
Meet our Consultant Admiral Nurse, Dr Jane Pritchard
Dr Jane Pritchard is a mental health nurse registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and oversees any clients at The Good Care Group who require specialist nurse-led care. She is also a Consultant Admiral Nurse, which is a role developed and supported by charity Dementia UK, held by a qualified professional that specialises in dementia. Jane has extensive experience in supporting those with dementia and their families, having been a dementia care nurse for nearly 20 years. Find out more about Jane here.
What can Jane support with?
Jane’s role involves home visit consultations and liaison with medical professionals to those receiving our specialist care at home service, as well as providing much-needed emotional support to their families at what can be a difficult time. She provides practical and informed advice to families that really makes a difference.
In rare cases, individuals living with dementia may be prescribed antipsychotic medication to manage certain symptoms, often linked with behaviours. These are always a last resort, due to the common side effects, such as sedation, and increased risk of physical illness, such as stroke and cardiac problems. Part of Jane’s involvement in a client’s care plan is to therefore review and assess the use of all antipsychotic medication, with the view to reduce or discontinue its use, and to manage symptoms with psychosocial strategies instead.
Jane is able to oversee the process of ensuring that any delegated healthcare task (tasks delegated by a healthcare professional to our professional carers) is managed safely and that adequate training and supervision takes place.
Jane is also experienced in working with individuals and families applying for NHS Continued Healthcare (CHC) funding, and has been successful in helping to secure funding for many of our Specialist Service clients who are entitled to additional financial support.
In addition, Jane provides hands-on support and advice to our regional care teams to ensure they have what they need to deliver the high-quality nurse-led care at home that our clients should expect, whilst enabling our team to improve health outcomes for their clients.
Meet our Occupational Therapist, Jackie Cooper
Jackie Cooper is an Occupational Therapist (OT) registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and oversees any clients at The Good Care Group who require specialist OT-led care. Jackie has been an OT for nearly 30 years and has extensive experience in supporting older adults to regain or maintain their level of independence in all aspects of daily living with the aim of improving safety and quality of life by providing advice and strategies. Find out more about Jackie here.
What can Jackie support with?
Our dedicated Occupational Therapist, Jackie Cooper, works with our clients to ensure they have the support they need to live safely and well at home. She provides assessment of mobility and transfer needs, falls prevention advice and assessment with recommendations for any equipment and home adaptations they need to help them to live a fulfilling and independent life as possible.
She also provides specialist advice on activity planning and adaptation for those clients living with dementia.
For those receiving our OT-led service, Jackie will work closely with the care teams and liaise with other healthcare professionals involved in delivering care, including hospital discharge planners, GPs, district nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists to ensure all health care needs are met through a holistic approach to care planning.
Jackie’s role is vital for clients who are waiting to be discharged from hospital who require additional expertise, as her involvement means they can come home much quicker than if they were to move into residential care or choose care from elsewhere. Jackie is able to order the correct equipment and provide initial and ongoing assessments without incurring any waiting times, which saves our clients time or having to move into a care home.
Specialist care at home
At The Good Care Group, we believe that people who require specialist care at home will enjoy an improved quality of life through better health outcomes, and this starts at home.
Being able to live in a place where you feel comfortable, safe and content is very important for both physical and mental health. Home care also allows individuals to retain choice and control in life, and for many the ability to remain in their own home and community is essential to maintaining their overall health and well-being.
Requiring additional support for a complex care need shouldn’t mean that you have to leave everything that you know and love behind. With our specialist care service led by Jane and Jackie, you and your loved ones will have the reassurance and peace of mind that the right care and support is being delivered to you from experienced professional carers.
What's included with our Specialist Care Service?
Our highly-personalised specialist service includes:
- A service with access to clinical expertise from our Consultant Admiral Nurse and Occupational Therapist
- A bespoke and flexible care plan developed with input from the client, their loved ones and other healthcare professionals
- Professional carers who are matched to the client to meet their holistic needs
- A dedicated care team led by an expert local care manager
- Meal planning and management of household tasks
- Care of pets
- Personal care and assistance with individual routines
- Social activities and lifestyle enhancement
- Access to support and expertise from professional carers - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Delegated healthcare tasks
Our professional carers are trained to monitor and identify any changes in your health, responding appropriately and avoiding any unnecessary hospital admissions. Our carers, with specialist training, can also take on some tasks normally delivered by a trained nurse, occupational therapist, or physiotherapist, including:
- Insulin administration
- Catheter flushing
- PEG feeding
- Stoma and urostomy care
- Blood sugar monitoring
- Delivering rehabilitation programmes
- Overseeing prescribed exercise plans
Ensuring safe mobility in and around the home
Under our OT-led service, our in-house Occupational Therapist, Jackie Cooper, will provide expert guidance and advice as to what equipment and home adaptations can help improve safe movement and mobility around your home, whilst minimising falls that are common in older people.
Managing and administering medications
Our professional carers are trained in medications management and use an electronic medications system to ensure all medications are managed proactively and effectively. They can also order and collect prescriptions from the pharmacy where needed.
Why choose The Good Care Group for specialist care?
Our specialist care service is led and developed by our in-house experts, Dr Jane Pritchard and Jackie Cooper, who between them amass over 50 years’ experience in health care. Either clinician will take the lead on a specialist service care plan, which is dependent upon the initial care assessment conducted by one of our experienced care managers.
Innovative care technology
We have our own online care community where families, healthcare professionals and carers can access up-to-date information about the care being provided. It enables more effective monitoring, which means issues can be responded to efficiently. For families, it provides a reassuring window into the care their loved one is receiving.
'Outstanding' CQC rating
We are extremely proud to be one of the only home care providers in the UK to be rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission in all five categories. This accolade means that you can be safe in the knowledge that you or your loved one is receiving the very best care from our highly-trained professional carers. We are also rated as 'Very good' by Care Inspectorate, Scotland.
A specialist pathway for palliative care
It is the wish of many people living with life-limiting illness or terminal conditions to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes until the end of their life, yet the percentage of people in the general population who are supported to die at home is as low as 19%. By comparison, our approach to one-to-one palliative care at home has enabled 79% of our clients to pass away in the place they love most – their own home.
Efficient managment of medications
Our digital technology, and market-leading training, are used proactively to effectively support safe administration of medications, which has seen error rates of less than 2% compared to a 22% error rate in care home settings.
Unrivalled falls prevention programme
Approximately one third of people over the age of 65 will fall at least once a year. For people living in UK residential care settings, this figure is 50%. At The Good Care Group, one-to-one, round-the-clock care, combined with a leading falls prevention approach overseen by our in-house Occupational Therapist, has resulted in 8% fewer falls year on year.
Employing quality carers
We believe that being a carer is a professional career that takes dedication, compassion and empathy. That’s why we provide 24/7 support for all of our carers, paying them above the industry standard and ensuring that they receive a number of employee benefits. We also only employ carers with a minimum of six months’ professional care experience, as well as ensuring they undertake an extensive in-house classroom induction training programme before they provide care for our clients.
Improving health outcomes
Every decision we make is driven by delivering improved health outcomes for our clients. Our digital technology allows us to predict risk and shape the care we provide. We measure health outcomes consistently because we want to know we are improving the quality of our clients’ lives every year. We also ensure that all of our carers are trained in using urinalysis kits, so that they can immediately check if their client has a potential urinary tract infection.
Our health and well-being measures aim to reduce:
- Behaviours that challenge
- Antipsychotic medication use in dementia care - only 5% of TGCG clients are prescribed antipsychotic medication, compared to 27% in care homes
- Falls in the home - a client of The Good Care Group is seven times less likely to have a serious fall at home than in a care home
- Hospital admissions - only 5% of clients admitted to hospital over the course of a year
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs) - 50% less likely to be admitted to hospital when our UTI testing kit is used
- Chest infections - we observed a 45% reduction of hospital admissions for chest infections year on year
- Pressure sores - an individual in our care is 28 times less likely to develop a pressure sore than if in hospital or a care home
- Carer stress - 24.6% of absences in the NHS due to stress or anxiety, compared to 7.6% on average for 2022 at The Good Care Group
Costs of specialist care
The cost of live-in care at home is typically in line with – and sometimes less than – what you would pay for nursing care in a care home, with the added benefit of receiving one-to-one tailored care, something that cannot be achieved in a nursing home.
It is worth considering that live-in care could be cheaper than the total cost of hourly domiciliary care when you need specialist or complex care at home. When you pay for care from a domiciliary care provider, it is likely that you will be charged extras for additional specialist services as your needs increase, on top of the cost of your hourly care visits. These extras can 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.
Many domiciliary care agencies do not provide access to healthcare professionals at home, so you may also need to consider using a specialist nursing care agency to meet your needs, which may be more costly. Live-in can be a cost-effective alternative for specialist care.
Funding for specialist care
Healthcare in the UK is free at the point of delivery. Therefore, if you have an identified healthcare need and are receiving care for this in your own home, you may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, which is arranged and funded by your local Integrated Care Board (ICB). If you feel you are entitled to this funding, you need to visit your GP who will complete an initial assessment and refer your case to the ICB for consideration. They will then ask you to complete a full assessment with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals so they can understand the complexity of your needs.
Sadly, many specialist conditions like dementia are not considered a healthcare need in isolation, so care for dementia is not necessarily funded by NHS Continuing Healthcare. It is always worth checking though, as funding can considerably contribute to the overall cost of care and in many cases will fund the total cost.
If you are successful in securing funding it is worth noting that funding is reviewed by the ICB annually, so if your needs decrease because you are receiving good quality care your funding may be at risk and you may have to start funding the total cost of your care.
Arranging specialist care
There is lots to consider when trying to arrange care for yourself or a loved one who has complex health care needs. Our specialist care service is a viable option for you to consider if you want to avoid moving into a nursing care home and would prefer to stay surrounded by your home comforts. Call us today and our friendly client services team will be happy to discuss your current situation and the best way we can help you.
Our team will then book a care assessment with one of our experienced care managers, who will discuss your care needs in more detail. Our specialist clinicians will then become involved with setting up your care plan and ensuring the right level of care is provided for you if your care needs are deemed to be complex in their nature.