Elderly care in Nottingham – part two
Here at Insequa we are in dialogue with the care providing community at all times. It’s what we do. One of our team, Matthew, was recently chatting to someone on the phone who is a local to our Nottinghamshire head office. As they chatted, it became apparent to Matthew that Esther Godfrey was a person holding strong opinions on the provision of elderly care in Nottingham.We are always keen to listen and learn from people on the front line of care as it informs perfectly the work we do. Esther generously agreed to sharing some of her experience of working at Richmand House in Nottingham and her plans for spreading the Richmand House ethos throughout a new approach to care delivery and sourcing. This is part two of our interview, you can find part one here.
What would you hope to come out of the long awaited and much delayed social care Green paper?
Any level of change would come down to money. But the core issue is not financial, it’s more about the culture, the thinking and the language. I’d like to see a greater focus on early intervention. Taking our lead from multi-agency professionals on the front line who can operate as indicators of where extra support is needed. Until we move away from a crisis led culture we are going to be spending vast amounts of money.
A scenario we often evidenced in the domiciliary care setting would involve a male or female in the community finding aspects of life difficult. This could relate to their emotional wellbeing, falls or UTIs. Because their difficulties were not picked up with early intervention, they would often end up in hospital. Time spent in hospital and rehabilitation is expensive and can be avoided if potential issues are recognised earlier. By pointing them in the right direction to another level of support, signposting them to groups, arranging small care packages of perhaps two weekly calls, would support in crisis prevention and reduce hospital admissions, reablement and ultimately maintain a good standard and quality living for individuals. We need a cultural change, and if there’s a way the Green Paper can effectively address this, that would be so valuable.
What innovations or new initiatives in social care are getting your attention?
I think the new social prescribing from GPs is a brilliant idea. I’d be interested to know how frequently frontline medical professionals are employing it? Do they believe in it? Are there enough providers in that area who can deliver?
Also I’d like to see alternative, innovative options, for those with learning needs and older people. The Mental Capacity Act demonstrates the biggest change in social care over the last 30 years, and still the managing of that, people owning the decisions they make, can be problematic. There’s a stagnation in a lot of the ways care is delivered, so that it’s not reflecting the needs of those it’s supposed to serve. Demographically older people have changed, they’re different – they’re more connected, autonomous and perhaps have experienced a different way of living from previous generations. I’m not sure the care system has evolved with them.
Older people should be encouraged to embrace advances in digital tech. Whether it’s accessing old films on YouTube, using assistive tech or simply using a tablet, it’s important for them to stay connected – reducing isolation, which in turn enhances well-being and quality of life.
There’s some new care homes being built in Nottingham at the moment, are you aware of them? What do you think?
Yes, there are some large care facilities under construction in Nottingham. One care home provides 85 beds, and the others have 60 or 70 beds. When I get old, I personally wouldn’t want to have to live my later life in a facility of that kind if I had a choice. The scale of these new care home providers can be likened to small hospitals, institutions. I am not sure if person centred care can be achieved in an environment of this type of capacity. The models that promote small, intimate and communal spaces are what I favour as opposed to sharing large spaces in a potentially busy and hectic space – whose wellbeing is being improved by that?
What’s next for you?
The future involves the community care team separating from the family business and to expand and develop new ideas and concepts. This has led to My Care Hub, our aim is to be a starting point for people, to make sure they are fully informed about the support that is available. There’s so much out there, this could be care package delivery, reablement packages, social events, information and assistive technological home support. We work in partnership with individuals and their families to devise care plans that are truly personalised. For example, if the core of the care plan is food and nutrition based, we would want to encourage home cooking. We know that the process of cooking fresh foods, getting involved in the cooking wherever possible or seeing someone cook, smelling it cooking – is so important for enhancing appetite and the enjoyment of food. With our new venture we will be looking at innovative, creative approaches to care delivery that disrupt the current models. The current care approach needs to be revitalised, bust the myths and find a new approach that adapts to fit the new demographics. Old people are different today, and they’re only going to grow more different in the future. We need to become agile, flexible care providers that focus on targeted, person-centred support that helps people to live well.
If you would like to learn more about the services we offer at Insequa such as tender writing, CQC Inspection support or policy and compliance products for social care providers, call 0115 896 3999 for a friendly no-obligation chat.