Latest figures calculated from The Care Quality Commission (CQC) show JUST ONE PER CENT of all UK organisations providing care in the home have achieved its coveted ‘outstanding’ rating. But, only six years since it was launched, the pioneering Good Care Group becomes one of this elite band of 47 organisations nationwide. It is the ONLY one dedicated to championing 24/7 live-in homecare, a little known, but real alternative to care homes.
Its revolutionary dementia care models are transforming health ‘outcomes’ – and, by dramatically professionalising the role of carer, the organisation has overturned the industry norm of undervalued, under-supported and dispirited workers.
The Good Care Group (TGCG) is making a significant difference to the health and quality of life of its clients, their families and carers. Examples include:
- Just FOUR PER CENT of its dementia clients take antipsychotic medication VS 40 PER CENT of care home residents
- 80 PER CENT of behavioural incidents (such as aggression and shouting, common with dementia clients) DISAPPEARED due to The Good Care Group’s unique and empathetic intervention programme
- Its inventive approaches are allowing people (especially those with dementia) to be safely discharged from hospital, thus alleviating the nation’s chronic ‘bed blocking’ crisis, which CURRENTLY COSTS £900M A YEAR FOR NHS ENGLAND ALONE (most ‘bed blockers have dementia)
- Early discharge SAVES THE NHS £700 PER BED, PER NIGHT
- Through innovative training programmes in conjunction with academic and charity partners, including a specialist [dementia] Admiral nurse - and a unique round-the-clock support network - it is fast-establishing a team of highly professional carers (who are additionally motivated through a bonus scheme)
- Proof that excellent live-in care allows people to live well in the familiarity and comfort of their own home at a cost that’s comparable with residential care homes
The company was set up in 2010 by Chief Executive Officer Fiona Lowry, who previously ran the BBC’s World Service Global Transmission Services and then a care business for children with complex needs. Having watched her grandmother, who had dementia, rapidly deteriorate in a care home, this serial entrepreneur and consummate project manager pledged to set up an organisation that changes the face of the care industry for the better.
This ambitious young company is already the market leader in dementia care and is the UK’s fastest growing homecare provider.
The methods driving a step-change in care
TGCG delivers outstanding 24/7 live-in homecare for elderly people. The company supports people on a one-to-one, live-in basis so they can remain and live well, with dignity, in their own homes, often, to the end of life.
Remaining in the familiarity of the home, surrounded by friends, family and beloved pets and free from institutionalised routines, is especially beneficial in the care and wellbeing of clients.
The Group’s holistic care plans are totally person-centred, not just meeting medical needs, but also promoting overall wellness and personal happiness. Highly trained carers who are matched to carers and their managers develop a deep understanding of their clients and what works best for them and individual strategies are devised. These are what gives rise to such positive outcomes.
Other stand-out evidence of TGCG’s successes includes:
- Falls are a major risk and cause of hospital admission for older people and 50-75% in care homes fall annually vs 38% with TGCG (implementation of its Falls Management Programme saw a reduction in falls of 97% within nine months)
- Up to 50% of care home clients are likely to suffer from urinary tract infections (a very common condition in older people) vs just 35% of TGCG clients
- Following introduction of its Behavioural Challenges Intervention Programme, behavioural incidents in 2016 are well below 2014/15, despite the percentage of clients with dementia remaining stable
- In care homes 12% of residents admitted to hospitals are dehydrated (Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2015) compared with only 0.3% of Good Care Group clients
TGCG’s carers are much valued by the organization which recognises that care can be a very rewarding, but often challenging and lonely career. Excellent training and support is therefore paramount. Ongoing team support, including a dedicated listening and feedback coordinator and a 24-hour helpline are all part of the package for them.
Carers are carefully selected and receive training on everything from falls prevention to communication skills.
The company’s training schemes are market leading. Indeed, it develops tailor-made courses with leading specialist charities such as Dementia UK, Young Onset Dementia and the Contented Dementia Trust - and ALL staff are required to undertake specialist dementia training; especially important given 75 per cent of its clients have the condition. TGCG is also leading the way in the care of other neurological conditions, particularly stroke, MS and Parkinson’s. Staff are encouraged to update their skills and gain new qualifications on an ongoing basis
Employees receive market-leading pay, including bonuses and enjoy sector-leading rota patterns. When surveyed, staff reported high levels of satisfaction with 80% confirming they look forward to starting work in the morning and 90% saying they are proud of TGCG’s service to clients.
In 2016’s TGCG’s client satisfaction survey showed virtually all clients and/or their representatives reported TGCG care had improved their enjoyment, lifestyle and wellbeing and that they were treated with dignity. They agreed the carers are kind, thoughtful, understand and support their lifestyle, have high standards, could be trusted and are skilled and confident.
The coveted Care Quality Commission ‘outstanding’ rating recognises the incredible results TGCG’s progressive care strategy has produced. It has proven that its model of live-in homecare is the future for senior care.
Dementia: the facts
- Numbers of those living with dementia are expected to reach over one million by 2025 and over two million by 2051(1)
- Several studies have reported on the negative consequences of going into a care home revealing that after six months, the MMSE (Mini Mental State Examination) and ADL (Activities of Daily Living) scores of the majority of patients declined, the clinical condition of the patients worsened, and mortality was high(2)
- For the 426,000 living with dementia in UK care homes, their standard of living is also below par with 41% unable to access specialist dementia services and are often admitted to hospitals for avoidable emergencies(3)
Dementia and care: the background
97% do not want to move into residential care when they are older(4)
- The prospect of ending life in a care home, for themselves or their parents, remains an unsavoury prospect for the UK public(5). National perception of care homes is low with only 30% of the public believing people are treated well in care homes and only 41% of those in care homes saying they are enjoying a ‘good quality of life’. Furthermore, only 30% of the public believe those living with dementia are treated well in care-homes. So it comes as no surprise that institutionalization into a care home is overwhelmingly not by the patient’s choice, but under force of circumstances(5).
Care homes are rarely the best place to care for the elderly especially those living with dementia
- Being moved into a care home can lead to feelings of loneliness and marginalization (especially if separated from a partner), and even to a more severe emotional state described as ‘move trauma’.
The future lies in care at home
- By 2030, the numbers of UK residents over the age of 60 will be 20 million(6). An alternative approach to caring for the elderly needs to be adopted if they are to be cared for properly, effectively and with dignity. Both the Government, in its ‘Ready for Ageing’ report (2013) and the World Health Organisation, in its 2020 strategy, acknowledged that older people should only go into hospitals or care homes when essential, with the home remaining the primary hub of care and support. A conclusion backed up by an increasing number of studies. One of the most comprehensive (Nikmat, Hawthorne, Al-Mashoor) revealed the significant positive impact that person-centred home care can have on health outcomes: improved quality of life and wellbeing, higher levels of happiness and satisfaction with care received, fewer hospital admissions, reduction in falls and reduced decline in function in people with dementia.
Notes to Editors:
- Age UK Later Life in the UK, 2015
- Ball et al., 2000; Scocco, Rapattoni, & Fantoni, 2006; Holder & Jolley, 2012
- British Geriatrics Society, 2012
- One Poll, 2014
- Alzheimer’s Society, Low Expectations report, 2013
- Age UK Later Life in the UK, 2015
For further information, interviews with Chief Executive Officer Fiona Lowry or Chief Operating Officer Dominique Kent - and / or images and / or images please contact:
Sue Skeats or Chloe Michel at The View: +44 (0)1483 331927 / +44(0)7976 522671