Business news

How to Meet Growing Demand for Complex Home Care: Top Priorities for Home Care Providers

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.

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

However, there is also a substantial opportunity for home care providers to think proactively about how they can expand, and meet the needs within their local communities head-on, while ensuring their businesses grow and evolve.

 Why Is the Demand for Complex Home Care Growing so Rapidly?

Part of the puzzle is that public sector healthcare services, and care homes run by local authorities are stretched beyond capacity. For one individual with a complex health profile, that might mean:

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

A report published by the National Library of Medicine found that integrating complex care at home can benefit health and social care services across the board, with minimal transitions between facilities, care homes or hospitals, and reduced potential for a post-hospital individual to be readmitted due to insufficient support at home.

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. Non-medical parameters such as the risk of isolation or loneliness can also factor into complex care, where an individual does not necessarily need nursing care, or to be in a hospital environment.

How Can Home Care Providers Expand Their Services to Support People With Complex Needs?

For many individuals and family members, remaining at home to live independently in familiar surroundings is highly preferable to any other solution. Many are also unaware of the availability of home care for complex needs or do not realise that private home care may be more cost-effective than full time residential care accommodation.

The key for any home care business is to evaluate how they structure their care provision, and where they can make adjustments, or increase the services offered to meet these surges of need within their local communities.

Complex vs Specialist Home Care

Complex care, refers to care that may relate 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.

Specialist care is targeted toward a defined condition, chronic illness, mobility requirement or other factor – that might be specialist palliative care, respite care for families, or support following joint replacement surgery. Neither relates directly to medical care, nor does a person with specialist or complex care needs often need to remain long-term in hospital or another clinical environment.

Many home care providers already offer numerous services that may meet the needs of people with complex conditions – with a variety of care available at home for:

  • People returning home from the hospital requiring mobility assistance or help to adjust following medical treatment.
  • Specific conditions such as dementia, acquired brain injury, diabetes, cerebral palsy, cancer or Alzheimer’s.
  • Rehabilitative care following a stroke or spinal cord injury.
  • Ongoing personal care such as stoma care, help with oxygen therapy, or tracheostomy care.

While all of the above may represent complex care needs, they can often be well managed at home with regular visits by a dedicated carer, or live-in or overnight care services to provide more ongoing assistance.

Putting in place robust complex care management plans, verifying the qualifications carers need to deliver the required help, and having a way to track the delivery of complex home care services can ensure providers are always aware if the individual’s needs change, or they reach a stage of requiring support from a clinical nurse.

However, the 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 support – ensuring better quality of life and respect for the rights and preferences of people who wish to remain in their own homes.

Guidance for Home Care Providers Offering Complex Home Care Help

Any home care provider should begin by conducting an audit of their services, workforce and capacity, coupled with an analysis of the depth of complex needs within their communities.

If there are shortfalls in an experienced care team, additional training and education may swiftly provide carers with the knowledge they need to increase their skill sets or learn new ways to assist people needing high-quality care with several concurrent conditions.

Dialogues and working in partnership with other healthcare professionals is also fundamental, where carers or care coordinators are fully informed about which local authorities, GPs, consultants, clinics or services are engaged with the individual – developing a holistic approach where any changes or updates are swiftly shared, logged and addressed within the home care agency’s care planning.

Understanding Funding Options for Families Seeking Complex Health Care at Home

Complex care teams might offer around-the-clock care for people needing completely bespoke care, visiting support based on the individual’s requirements, or refer a family to their 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 needed.

Families and people with complex medical needs often find it confusing trying to find the right options to help with funding complex care or understanding whether a loved one would most benefit from hospital treatment, a residential nursing home or receiving care at home.

We’d suggest home care agencies research the solutions to signpost families to various organisations, including the NHS Continuing Care service. While privately funded clients can organise help with complex needs at any time, others may need financial help covering ongoing healthcare costs.

NHS funded continuing care is available to people with long-term complex needs and 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).

To Top

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This