New Home Care Guidelines Promote High-Quality Home Care for Older People

Tuesday, 13th October 2015

Published 13 October 2015.

Harrogate Home Care Team

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a new set of guidelines to promote a better standard of care and support for older people living in their own homes. The report offers a number of key recommendations for home care providers to follow when supporting elderly people at home.

It is understood that there are currently over 470,000 people using local authority funded home care in the UK of whom more than 80% are aged over 65 years. As our population ages, this number is expected to rise with the proportion of older people receiving home care moving from 1 in 6 (16%) to 1 in 4 (25%) by 2035.

Amongst the recommendations are concepts such as a greater focus on the individual, involving them in designing their care and giving care assistants the time to deliver good care with visits of no less than 30 minutes. NICE also raises the issues of ensuring continuity of care and providing better management and support to carers including training.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said:

“Care England welcomes the NICE guideline on Home Care. We hope that Local Authorities will commission this guideline, and fund and support Home Care Providers to be able to deliver it.”

Bridget Warr, chief executive of the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), chaired the group of experts which developed the guideline on behalf of NICE. She said:

“As people age, many will need some support to achieve their wish to remain at home, near to friends and family. The help each person needs will differ and it is important that the homecare delivered is tailored specifically to the individual; his or her needs, wishes and aspirations.”

“The guideline emphasises the importance of people receiving support from trained and competent staff with whom they are familiar. For this to happen, those commissioning and delivering home care must work together with the person wanting support to plan the right co-ordinated care in the way the person wants. They should be sure that there is adequate time allowed for the home care worker to provide good, sensitive support in a way that protects and enhances the person’s dignity, wellbeing and independence.”

“The guideline spells out how this can be achieved and will, I hope, help to provide focus for those many providers and commissioners who want to ensure high quality, responsive, sustainable support at home is available to those who want it.”

Oliver Stirk, Director of Carefound Home Care which is one of the only UK home care providers to be rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, commented:

“We welcome the new NICE guidelines which frankly back up the core aspects of our hourly home care and live-in care services in Yorkshire. Supporting older people to remain in the comfort of their own homes is a vital part of maintaining health and well-being, however this is only achievable where care is delivered by professionally trained carers who are supported by an expert, local care management team which strives for the highest standards possible.”