The importance of Home Care

Over the past few months, government cuts throughout the NHS have led to a number of care homes being closed or reduced in size, leaving care users without proper, affordable and appropriate round-the-clock care.

These closures may not produce entirely negative effects though. Many government officials including the Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter have openly claimed that caring for the elderly at home could benefit families and care users more. With up to a third of all residential care users perfectly healthy and able to be cared for in their own homes, why are so many institutionalised early on into their old age?

Care at home is what we at Apex Health + Social Care recommend. As well as negating the potential upset and distress a complete move and life change would cause, being cared for in the home can improve recovery times and general health and morale by simply being more comfortable and settled at home.

Trained carers and healthcare professionals are still made available to patients choosing to remain in their homes, and this care can of course be complete 24 hours a day domiciliary care. This provides even greater levels of individual care and each care package can be tailored to suit individual needs.

Apex Health + Social Care is committed to providing the best in home and healthcare. From social care to full-time domiciliary care, we look to provide only the highest quality care packages for every care user.

For more information, please contact our main office on 0845 600 3041.

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Delivering choice in end-of-life care

End of life care needn’t take place in a hospital – at Apex HSC we believe that care at home can be more comfortable and better suited to individual needs.

The National Voices Survey of Bereaved People taken by the Office for National Statistics found earlier this year that only 29% of people who died in hospital were said to have had enough choice about where they died, compared to the 88% of those who died at home.

As well as being an expensive option for the NHS, patients with terminal illnesses who remain in hospital may not be given the choice to continue their treatments and care at home. Annual mortality statistics reveal that the majority of people would prefer to die outside of a hospital setting, with around 40% of patients who died in hospital after a terminal illness potentially could have been care for elsewhere.

Apex Health + Social Care are advocates of patient choice. We have a range of care packages to suit every individual, and can tailor each to suit specific care needs and requirements.

We recognise that the best place to be cared for is at home, which is why we offer a range of services that are flexible and adaptable to your ever changing needs. Our services include supported living for those with physical disabilities and on-going medical needs, continuing healthcare for those with complex needs who wish to be supported in their own homes and end of life care for those wishing to spend their final days at home.

To find out more about what you can expect from us please click here.

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New patient charter backed by MPs

New guidelines could change the way end of life care is administered to patients with terminal illnesses.

Thanks to a re-evaluation of the patient charter constitution by the Liberal Democrats, patients placed in same sex wards could be eligible to sue  the NHS. Also in the plans to shake up how patients rights are protected, families of patients are to be consulted before medical staff place them on the Liverpool Care Pathway.

The Liverpool Care Pathway
The LCP is a care plan which was created to enable end of life care to be administered with a greater amount of dignity and comfort for patients. Due to the sensitive nature of any care plan that deals with the structured or manageable death of a patient, the  Liverpool Care Pathway has been met with some dissent by the media after a number of isolated cases where the LCP was administered under non-ideal circumstances.

The LCP was developed during the late 1990s at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, in conjunction with the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute.The goal of the LCP is to ensure a death is as dignified and as peaceful as possible.

The LCP was introduced to reduce issues arising such as:

  • patients being subjected to invasive testing and treatment that offered no chance of preventing death
  • causing unnecessary pain and suffering by needlessly prolonging life
New guidelines in proposed Patient’s Charter
The following list notes the proposed new guidelines as presented by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Respect for staff – or no treatment

You should treat NHS staff and other patients with respect and recognise that violence, causing a nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises could result in prosecution and that abusive or violent behaviour could result in you being refused access to the NHS.

Prompt apology if things go wrong

To ensure that if you are harmed while receiving healthcare you receive an appropriate explanation and apology, delivered with sensitivity and recognition of the trauma you have experienced, and know that where mistakes have been made, lessons will be learned to help avoid a similar incident occurring again, and to ensure that the organisation learns lessons from complaints and uses these to improve NHS services.

Decisions on end-of-life care

You have the right, to be involved fully in all discussions and decisions about your healthcare, including in your end of life care, and to be given information to enable you to do this. Where appropriate this right includes your family and carers.

Single sex wards

If you are admitted to hospital, you will not have to share sleeping accommodation with patients of the opposite sex, in line with details set out in the Handbook to the NHS Constitution.

For more information about the Liverpool Care Pathway, visit:

The changing NHS

How is the NHS run? Infographic from BBC News

The NHS in England is about to undergo its biggest period of change and upheaval since its creation in 1948.

There are due to be a large number of changes, some large and some minor, most of which will concern the funding and decision-making of the organisation. After 2013 local councils will also have a larger say in how healthcare is provided under their jurisdiction.

The BBC have put together some useful infographics to help make sense of the changes and what they will mean to the running and operations of the NHS.

Treatment for patients infographic from BBC News

Finding direction infographic from BBC News

The health secretary sets policies, such as waiting times and currently, the Department of Health then passes these down through 10 SHAs and then to the PCTs who have to ensure they are put into place.

After the changes, the clinical commissioning board will take charge of overseeing the NHS from the Department of Health.

Priorities will be given to a new NHS Commissioning Board, which will control a significant part of the overall budget so that it can plan and buy specialist services and will also be charged with ensuring CCGs do not overspend their budgets.

Local councils are to have more of a role in tackling public health problems, such as obesity, in their area – and new health and wellbeing boards will help link this work with that of the CCGs.

A national body called Healthwatch, with local groups, is being set up to enable patients to have their say about the NHS.

NHS infographic from BBC News

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