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Community Care Market News – August 2011 “The Good Care Group targets dementia”

London-headquartered high-end homecare provider Good Care Group has launched a dementia-specific package, pitching its services at a client group traditionally seen as best cared for in residential care settings.

The Expert Dementia Care scheme promises to keep clients living in their own home while helping them to “retain self-worth and be in control of their life”. Describing itself as a proactive, fully individualised care plan the product begins with a comprehensive assessment conducted by a senior care expert who as well as speaking to the clients themselves will speak with family, friends and any informal carers in order to build a picture of the spectrum of care choices which are suitable.

If deemed necessary The Good Care group representative will also speak to the client’s GP.

For the first month of the care package the provider’s senior carer will work closely with the professional carers placed in the client’s home with a full review of the package carried out at the end of the first four weeks.

Central to the package is the SPECAL Photograph Album approach, a system which draws upon client’s own memories as an integral part of care delivery.

Launching the new product, head of care strategy Zoë Elkins told CCMn that the move came about after the company realised that over three-quarters of its client base already had some form of dementia which carers are already responding to in highly individualised ways. She said: “There is more to caring for the person with dementia than ticking boxes and implementing a set care plan. We believe that this new care package will further enhance our offering as it puts the person with dementia firmly at the centre of our activity, with all aspects of care assessed against need and delivered to be in step with the individual’s pattern of life.”

Launched just over 18 months ago The Good Care Group has pledged to pay its staff, who will generally work as live-in carers, above NHS rates (CCMn April 2010).

Earlier this year it launched a new health and social care apprenticeship scheme in an effort to form a highly trained core of staff. The programme has been developed in partnership with National Training and Qualfications UK and takes students further than currently required under mandatory training levels.

Celebrating the news that the company has recruited over 80 carers since forming, director of operations Dominique Kent commented: “We are revitalising and professionalising the care sector through a considerable investment in our professional apprenticeship programme. This will further ensure that all our professional carers have a clear career pathway. Through improving their knowledge and skills, we will also ensure we deliver improved care packages for our clients that positively impact on their overall health and wellbeing.”

The chief executive of Dementia UK, Barbara Stephens, recently joined The Good Care Group’s independent advisory board.

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