Starting Care with us – 6 stages
When arranging your care package, we follow a clear process to ensure that you receive a truly bespoke and high quality care service. Our consistent approach underpins our strict governance and quality assurance to make sure that you receive excellent care wherever you live.
This is what you can expect when we commence a care package.
Receiving your enquiry, or a referral from healthcare organisation on your behalf
A specialist in a team located locally in your area will receive your enquiry and get in touch with you to discuss provision of care and collect some initial information.
If you are looking to pay for care privately, or the care will be funded through case management, then we will provide an outline of costs.
Complex Care Assessment in your own home
We will arrange for a Client Care Manager and an Advantage Healthcare nurse to visit you and close relatives or other members of your household, in your own home. We will spend time to get to know you and compile information for your personal profile as well as your care plan. During the visit we will also carry out all other appropriate risk assessments.
Creating your care plan
With this information we will make a recommendation about the suitable nature and frequency of care to meet your needs. If you are a private client we will confirm the costs of the proposed care package.
We will then include all this information in a formal care plan which we will discuss with you by phone or in person. We will answer any of your questions or those of your family and ensure that you are happy with every aspect. You have a final say in what is included in your care plan, unless this responsibility is awarded to a relative of guardian.
Choosing care staff for your care
With your agreement, the staff who met you will identify a selection of Advantage Healthcare client care staff with the skills and aptitude to support you in-line with your care plan. We always offer to arrange for you to meet these care staff in a ‘meet and greet’ prior to the start of your care. In some instances we may book additional staff for the first few visits, such as a nurse to supervise the start of your care package. And, we will run additional training, relevant to your needs, with our care staff.
Starting your care package
Our Client Care Manager will make frequent calls and visits in the first two weeks of your care provision.
Before your care starts, you will know who to expect and when they will be coming to see you. In most cases you will have met the care staff who will be providing care.
Reviewing your care
Each care package will be reviewed after six weeks of it starting and then every few months after that. We will review the care plan if your needs change, if any of our staff change or if staff notice any changes such as behaviour or physiology. Any changes to your care plan will be discussed with you and included in your printed care plan which is available in your home and in our records.
Assessing your medical and social needs
Before putting your care service in place, we will carry out a thorough and sensitive care assessment. This will assess both your medical and social needs. We will gather information about you before our visit and from any paperwork provided by your case manager, NHS trust or home assessments by a community nurse. One of our client care managers, often accompanied by an Advantage Healthcare nurse, will arrange to visit you, and meet relatives or other members of your household, at a convenient time. At this meeting we will get to know you and create a personal profile which includes topics such as your wishes and aspirations, information about your community, any educational or leisure facilities which you like to visit.
The assessment will also review your medical condition and clinical and social needs. Where a client has dementia or reduced mental capacity we will discuss which decisions need to be made by an advocate whilst focusing on offering freedom of choice where possible to you as the client.
Getting to know you
Spending time getting to know our clients means that we can select the best care staff, both for clinical competence and, importantly, as a personality match.
We have extensive experience running successful, long and short term care packages where our care staff and service users have a natural fit, and both feel at ease at home – an individual and personal setting.
After the assessment, we will review our registered client care staff and select some of their profiles for you to look at. We will always work with you to agree the final selection of who we send to your home to provide you with care.
The assessment will be followed up quickly with an initial ‘meet and greet’ for clients and care staff to be introduced.
Your care plan
The assessment notes will be written up into a Care Plan for you as the client to review and agree to before care services start. A copy of the Care Plan is kept in your home and in our records. The Care Plan will be reviewed initially after six weeks and then subsequently every few months, or sooner if changes are needed
How we look after any information related to your care
We know how sensitive care records are and that people want these to be kept safely and securely. We take this very seriously and have senior managers responsible for ensuring we meet our legal obligations. We have systems to manage this information and we check that we are following those systems.
How do we look after your information?
We know how sensitive care records are and that people want these to be kept safely and securely. In fact, it’s the law – The Data Protection Act 2018 requires us to control how confidential personal information is used by businesses and the Government. We must ensure the personal information we hold about you is:
- Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way
- Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes
- Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes
- Accurate and kept up to date
- Kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about
- Kept securely
All our staff are trained about the importance of confidentiality and the computers systems we use and the paper records we keep, are secure with access limited to only those people who need to know about you and your care.
Furthermore there is the common law duty of confidentiality which means that any information you give us for your care must be protected and not shared with anyone else, or used for other purposes, without your consent. And there are other protections such as the Caldicott guidelines which state that staff can only see and use the patient information they need to do their job.
As health and social care records are so important there are a further set of rules we must follow that describe how these records should be kept, managed and used. These were developed by Dame Fiona Caldicott and are, therefore, known as the “Caldicott Principles”. They are as follows:
Principle 1: Justify the purpose(s) for using confidential information
Principle 2: Do not use personally identifiable information unless it is absolutely necessary.
Principle 3: Use the minimum personally identifiable information.
Principle 4: Access to personally identifiable information should be on a strict need to know basis.
Principle 5: Everyone should be aware of their responsibilities.
Principle 6: Understand and comply with the law.
Principle 7: The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality
Every health & social care service should have a “Caldicott Guardian” which is a senior person who is responsible for giving advice to colleagues about how to use the Caldicott Principles and for checking that we are following them. Advantage Care has a Caldicott Guardian who has received training to do this role.
The Caldicott Principles underpin our policies for the management of care records.
Who do we share your information with?
We will share information about you with other organisations involved with the delivery of your care. This may include:
- Your GP
- If you do not pay for your care yourself, then the organisation that does pay for your care such as a Local Authority, NHS Trust/CCG or insurance company responsible for a settlement agreement
- The representatives of the organisations who pay for your care, for example Case Managers who work for insurance companies or continuing healthcare staff from NHS/CCGs
- Other professionals who support your care, for example district nurses, specialist clinical teams or a medical consultant
- Organisations we work in partnership with to provide your care, for example other care agencies that also care for you or organisations we provide care on behalf of
- Safeguarding teams where we are legally required to report concerns about your safety or well-being
- Regulators of care such as the Care Quality Commission where we are legally required to notify them of an incident or issue, or where they request information as part of the work they do
- You have the right to stop us sharing your information on to other people if you think it will, or is causing you harm but we do not have to comply with this if we think it is in your best interest or could jeopardise your care.
Can you see your records?
Yes you can – under the Data Protection Act 2018 you can ask to see all the records we keep about you including paper care records and information we hold on computer systems including emails. This is called a “subject access request” and you can request this by contacting the branch who looks after your care who will send you a form to complete. You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal information (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee for additional copies, or if your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive.
Can I change my records?
You can ask us to change or destroy inaccurate information but again we may refuse to comply with this if we think it is detrimental to you, but we will record details of what you stated was inaccurate in your records.
Managing your care
We are committed to delivering safe, high-quality care services in your home. All our care packages are overseen by local nurse-led teams and care coordinators.
Your safety and care is our priority.
How do we know what care you need?
When we are chosen to provide care, we will meet with you as our client to complete a detailed assessment of the care needed, as well as all the extra personal touches like how you like to take your tea or coffee and which activities you enjoy doing.
We welcome friends, relatives and other healthcare professionals supporting the assessment and find that these people are usually very helpful in us fully understanding what is needed and how care should be delivered.
During the assessment we also look at the risks involved and do risk assessments to make sure the care we provide is safe.
Once the assessment is completed we produce a care plan and put this in the home so that both our staff and the client can see it whenever they need to.
Where care is under the control of another organisation, such as an NHS hospital, we will work the team there to understand what care is needed and ensure this is provided. This is particularly the case for clients in our Renal Dialysis, Home Parenteral Nutrition or IV Antibiotic services
How do we keep you safe?
Advantage Healthcare understands that for many people inviting a care provider into their life can be a significant change. It can be a difficult decision which can cause anxiety or worry.
We have policies, training and employment checks which we follow to ensure the staff we provide are safe, sensible and caring. We are proud of the training we provide our staff with about how to keep clients safe and to understand the risks and signs of abuse and what to do if these are ever seen. We check the way staff work and make sure you can always raise any concerns you may have. All our staff have a series of background checks to ensure they have not done things in the past which would not make them a suitable person to provide care.
The systems for keeping people safe from abuse are called ‘Safeguarding’ and there are Safeguarding Teams in every local authority. We work closely with these teams whenever there are concerns about people and take the safeguarding of both adults and children very seriously.
There is a lot more about Safeguarding on the website of most Local Authorities.
We also understand what is expected of us under the Health & Safety laws. We have a dedicated Health & Safety Manager who supports and advises our branch offices and we check standards in health and safety carefully.
Supporting Your Rights
There are laws we take seriously that make sure that people we provide care to are treated fairly and equally. Advantage Healthcare is committed to the principles of equality and fairness in the services we provide and the ideals of honesty, fairness and equal treatment for all of our staff and clients is very important to us.
Human Rights Act
The Human Rights Act protects all of us, whether young or old, rich or poor. It has been made law so people are treated with the same respect and dignity by the state and services provided by the state.
The Equality Act 2010 ensures that we provide our services to everyone in exactly the same way regardless of their: Age; Disability; Marital Status; Race; Religion, beliefs or culture; Sexual orientation; Gender or gender identity.
We take very seriously any behaviour by our staff that treats people badly because of differences or who the person is. We train our staff about equality and human rights to ensure they understand what is expected of them at work.
How do we handle it if care goes wrong?
We are always striving to provide the highest standards of quality and safety and we believe we do this almost all of the time, but we do understand that sometimes things will go wrong. Where something does we have systems that allow our staff, and our clients, to report this. We then investigate all incidents and see how we can improve things to reduce the risk of them going wrong again in the future.
We will always tell the person when we think something has gone wrong and keep them informed of what we are doing about it.
We have a duty, in law, to be open and honest with our clients when things have gone wrong. This law is known as the “Duty of Candour”. We do not simply see the Duty of Candour as a law we have to comply with, but as a principle that is about being fair and honest with our clients. However, difficult these things can be, we believe that being honest and open is just the right thing to do.