How can we deliver a person-centred service in homecare when we’re commissioned to do 15 – 30 minute calls?

Ideally, homecare would be commissioned based on what the person wants from their service – on ‘person-centred outcomes’ and not on tasks that have to be completed within a short call.

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However, even when a homecare service is commissioned on tasks, there are still ways that it can be made more person-centred:

  • Make sure that the staff know the person – what matters to them and how they want to be supported. Some home-care services have introduced one-page profiles for each person that they provide a service to. This is a one-page summary of what matters to the person, what people appreciate about them and how they want to be supported.
  • Make sure that staff know what their core responsibilities are and where they can use their own judgement. To help staff do the best job that they can, we need to be clear about which parts of the visit are crucial, and what else they can do if they have time.
  • See if you can make sure that the person has calls from as small a number of people as possible, to help build relationships and provide more continuity.
  • See if you can match staff to the person based on their interests and personality. The most person-centred homecare experience would involve a small number of local staff, who were clear about what was expected of them and who knew the person (through having access to their one-page profile). The homecare co-ordinator would have chosen these particular staff to support the person based on the fact that they had shared interests.
  • Make sure that the review looks at what is working and not working for the person. A person-centred review is a way to structure the review that the care manager requires for the provider. It is done in a person-centred way. Here is a description of the person-centred review process.

As well as seeing how far you can go towards delivering a more person-centred service, even within any constraints from commissioners, you can directly involve people who receive your homecare service. You can involve commissioners too, in reflecting on the current service, what is good about it, what could be improved and what people may want from you in the future. The process is called Working Together for Change. Here is Dennis’s story about how this worked in homecare.

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