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Meeting Growing Demand for Complex Home Care

The need for professional home care, including support with complex care requirements, has grown rapidly in recent years. Home-based assistance can reduce unnecessary hospitalisations and free up the NHS’s capacity to manage acute and emergency care requirements.

Some home care agencies may perceive this as a challenge, where care planning, recruitment and ongoing support may differ considerably between a person with complex home care needs and specialist support, and somebody who requires general domiciliary or visiting care.

However, working dynamically and proactively to respond to changing needs in the local communities served by the 18 Guardian Angel Carers branches nationwide is hugely important, and can deliver compelling benefits for every care recipient with complex needs.

What Is Complex Care?

Many families are unsure what complex care means and whether the needs or conditions of a loved one require complex care services. There are varied terminologies used in health and social care services that often cause confusion, and we’d encourage anybody with concerns to contact their closest Guardian Angel Carers home care office if they need guidance.

In short, complex care refers to requirements for a broad scope of individuals. A person with a long-term health condition, a chronic illness or perhaps two or more medical conditions may be categorised as needing complex care.

We also recognise the impact of non-medical parameters, where somebody living alone and at risk of isolation may benefit from complex care support services – and would not necessarily require any element of nursing care or benefit from an extended stay in a hospital environment.

Specialist care is often mistaken for complex care, although both may apply. This alternative type of home care is targeted toward a defined condition, chronic illness, mobility requirement or other factor. For example, that might be specialist palliative care, respite care for families, or support following surgery.

You are welcome to review the wide array of specialist care services offered by the Guardian Angel Carers teams to learn more.

Why Is the Demand for Complex Care Services Growing?

As most individuals and families, we speak with know, part of the puzzle is that public sector healthcare services and care homes run by local authorities are stretched beyond capacity. While the impacts vary between cities and locations, the outcomes can be serious for those with complex needs:

  • Being unable to find support in a timely, safe and comfortable manner.
  • Turning to alternative residential care settings that are less than ideal.
  • Encountering risks where services cannot offer the level of supervision or rehabilitation a person may need – leading to longer hospital stays, delayed discharges and readmissions that may have been preventable.

Our focus on complex care throughout our home care network aims to prevent these avoidable outcomes, bringing access to complex care directly into people’s homes rather than being restricted to hospitals, medical facilities and residential settings.

A report published by the National Library of Medicine reinforces the value of home-based complex care. It found that integrated solutions benefit health and social care services, require minimal transitions between facilities, care homes or hospitals, and ensure people have the right support at home to avoid readmissions.

The Compelling Advantages of Organising Complex Care Support at Home

Remaining at home to live independently in familiar surroundings is highly preferable for a vast majority of people when compared to any other solution. Private home care may also be more cost-effective than residential accommodation for those with complex needs.

From a medical standpoint, complex care refers to any care related to one or several chronic conditions, including neurological disorders and mental health diagnoses, or where the care a person needs may vary or be difficult to predict.

Across our territories, each of which is independently owned and managed by a local care home franchise owner, we provide home care services that may be ideally suited to people requiring complex care. They include support for:

While the above needs represent complex care, they can also be well managed at home. A dedicated carer can organise regular visits, or a person may prefer live-in care or overnight care services if they would like to have more ongoing assistance.

Professional Complex Care Planning and Management

We work closely with every individual, couple, family and their loved ones to implement complex care management plans. This process involves verifying the qualifications carers may require and tracking the delivery of complex home care services.

Ongoing monitoring gives us an opportunity to adapt our home care if the individual’s needs change or contact local healthcare services or families if we believe a person may need support from a clinical nurse.

Dialogues and working in partnership with other healthcare professionals are fundamental, where our carers or care coordinators are fully informed about which local authorities, GPs, consultants, clinics or services are engaged with the person or family. These networks help us develop a holistic approach where changes or updates are swiftly shared, logged and addressed within our care planning.

The core focus is on communication, ensuring every person with complex care needs has a tailored support plan and that they have input and control over the way their carers provide assistance – ensuring a better quality of life and respect for the rights and preferences of people who wish to remain in their own homes.

Understanding Funding Options for Families Seeking Complex Care Services at Home

Complex care teams offer an incredibly valuable support system. They can provide around-the-clock care for people needing completely bespoke care, visiting support based on the individual’s requirements, or refer families to our specialist care team if the person in need of care and support has a condition or diagnosis they can help with.

There isn’t one prescribed format or structure, and expertly trained carers who have the knowledge and qualifications to assist with medication management and other help around the home can adapt the number of hours of care provided as you wish.

We acknowledge that it can be challenging to find options to help with funding complex care, and we suggest looking at the NHS Continuing Care service to see whether this may apply to you. While privately funded clients can organise help with complex needs on demand, many families can claim financial help covering ongoing healthcare costs.

NHS-funded continuing care is available to people with long-term complex needs. It is designed to ensure they can remain comfortable and looked after in their own homes, with assessments conducted by the relevant NHS Clinical Commissioning Group – or Integrated Care Board (ICB).

For further information about complex home care, specialist care services, or how to organise the respectful, care you or your loved one require in your own home, please get in touch with Guardian Angel Carers anytime.