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 an army of gold standard carers (who are additionally motivated with share equity)
- 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 Fiona Lowry, who previously ran the BBC’s World Service and 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, compatibility-matched 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 of 97% within nine months)
- 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
- One in 10 care home residents are admitted to hospital each year with potentially avoidable conditions including bone fracture, dehydration, pneumonia or respiratory tract infection (CQC State of Care Report 2013). The Good Care Group has a proactive approach to managing health and minimising hospital admissions, and has achieved a potentially avoidable hospital admission rate of 1%
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 impeccable. 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 can update their skills and gain new qualifications.
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 strategy has produced. It has proven that its model of live-in homecare is the future for senior care.
*Margallo-Lana, M et al 2001
1. Age UK Later Life in the UK, 2015
2. Ball et al., 2000; Scocco, Rapattoni, & Fantoni, 2006; Holder & Jolley, 2012
3. British Geriatrics Society, 2012
4. One Poll, 2014
5. Alzheimer’s Society, Low Expectations report, 2013