08 October 2013
Trevor Brocklebank, CEO of at-home care company, Home Instead says that if the findings in the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) review are to be resolved then what is required is an integrated view on the care continuum and a recognition that government should be spending on ‘care, not cure’.
Although his company will not enter in to local authority block contracts as he believes they drive down the quality of care, he says it’s obvious that with government making swathing cuts to local authority budgets, care is bound to be affected as it takes up such a large percentage of spend.
“What is needed,” he says, “is for government to spend their money in a more intelligent and informed way. At the moment health and social care are viewed as separate issues – they aren’t. If people are in receipt of quality care, then they are far less likely to be admitted to hospital.
“What we need is more spending on care to prevent us having to cure people. Similarly we know that if someone has been in hospital then they are far less likely to be readmitted if they are receiving proper support.
“For example, with short duration care visits and multiple care workers visiting a client, it is impossible to make sure clients are eating properly and monitoring which meals have been eaten goes out the window. A poor diet is one of the major reasons for readmissions.
“It is my firm belief that we could save millions across the health and care systems if we supported people properly in their own homes. And it goes without saying that this is a far more dignified way of treating people.
“Our social and health care systems need to evolve to provide person-centred care that is both age and stage appropriate and which support healthy ageing. With ever increasing life expectancy ‘old age’ now covers a huge spectrum and we need to innovate and take a holistic approach to meet people’s needs”
Trevor believes that instead of adopting a one size fits all approach that local authorities and providers should be working together with those in need of support and their families so that home care providers have the freedom to innovate and use budgets flexibly.