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Health & Social Care Integration

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What is health & social care integration?

Integrated health & social care is when both the social and health elements of support are joined up to make one seamless service for the individual. It incorporates the health elements, such as personal care, medication, mobility and support with a medical condition, as well as social elements, such as keeping in touch with family and friends, accessing the local community and continuing with much-loved hobbies. Integrated care is designed to be very much about the individual and their wishes, creating person-centred support that suits their needs and preferences and ultimately aiming for independent living.

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Understanding the integration model

The integrated care model brings together both Local Government and the NHS in the care provision of an individual, as well as any private companies involved in someone’s care, such as Helping Hands. It gives control back to the individual and places the importance of choice and decision making with them. It takes into account the following key points about an individual’s care:

  • How they wish to communicate and how they would like information delivered to them.
  • Planning their care and agreeing what their support plan covers.
  • Having the right information provided to them and having the choice of what they do with that information.
  • Decision making and being in control of their budget, enabling them to access funds whenever they require
  • If transitions occur between services or personnel, enabling this to take place smoothly and with their consent.
  • Goals and outcomes should be clear and adhered to at all times, enabling them to live the life they want to lead.

Good integrated care is when different healthcare professionals join together to provide an individual’s care. For example, a district nurse, GP, carer and physiotherapist may all be involved in a person’s care if they are living with a long-term medical condition that needs to be closely monitored by medical professionals and if they require daily care for their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. The coming together of these professions to create one support plan that everyone is aware of and adheres to means that the individual has full knowledge and awareness of exactly what type of care they’re going to receive, when and by whom, thereby reducing confusion, anxiety and stress.

Why choose integrated care?

For local authorities across the UK, there have been many discussions as to how to improve care services – integrated care being a solution for some of the problems that many faced when receiving care. Some found it frustrating to keep having to explain their care needs to different health professionals, whereas others found that the health and social care services simply didn’t communicate with one another and were therefore never up to date with their latest activity and care requirements. With integrated care, everyone involved in someone’s care works together and follows the same support plan that is created with the individual and the main health and social care professionals involved.

The benefits of choosing integrated care are that there is one support plan used by all, saving time and confusion for both the individual receiving care and those delivering it. It enables them to have full control over their care, mixing both the physical and emotional elements of their support and having one plan to work from that helps them to achieve all of their goals and wishes. Having one care plan to work from creates a much more streamlined and straightforward service for an individual living with a long-term physical or mental health condition, or perhaps even both, as it allows a variety of different services, groups and providers to join together and deliver person-centred support to an individual in a way that is meaningful to them.

Integrated care services from Helping Hands

Here at Helping Hands, we are part of many integrated care services across England and Wales, providing care for thousands of people where they feel most comfortable and safe: their own homes. We have worked with local authorities and the NHS since our inception in 1989, so are very familiar with how the health & social sector function and how we play our part in someone’s care.

Audrey talking to a home care specialist If you require extra support at home, we can work with you and those who are already involved with your care to provide you with the assistance that you need to live well and safely in your own comfortable environment. We can use your existing integrated care plan to create your Helping Hands support plan, or start by creating a new support plan if you’re new to care, working with you to ensure your physical, social and mental needs are all taken into account.

Home care can start from 30-minute visits a week, progressing to hourly, overnight or even 24-hour live-in care should you require support round-the-clock. Our flexible support plans and local care teams mean that we can quickly and professionally get the right support in place for you, working alongside your existing care givers and other health care providers like a nurse or social worker.

We’ll help with all elements of your care – from personal care, helping you to mobilise safely and support with medication, to accompanying you when you leave your home, keeping on top of the housework and providing companionship.

Call us today if you’d like to discuss home care for yourself or a loved one as part of your integrated care.