Home care tailored to the needs of Gwynedd residents

Date: 24/07/2019

Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet has decided to establish a new home care model in the county which is focused on helping older people to live their lives in the way they want.

Over the past two years, Gwynedd Council and the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board have been working together to develop the way that home care is provided in the county.

Following the decision of the Cabinet, the aim is to extend the new home care model across the county, with the expectation that the matter will be considered by the Health Board in the coming weeks.

Councillor Dafydd Meurig, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Care: “A lot of excellent work has been carried out together with the Health Board in specific communities to pilot this new way of working.

“Traditionally, home care has tended to concentrate on completing particular tasks at specific Times of the day within allocated timeslots. But of course, this way of working doesn’t allow much flexibility to discuss and understand what is really important to the individual and to see exactly what kind of care support they truly need.

“Our aim is establishing a new home care model for Gwynedd is to bring all relevant agencies and individuals together to work more efficiently on the local level. We have already see through the pilot schemes that this allows us to offer support that is tailored more specifically to the needs and desires of the people receiving the home care.”

As part of the decision, the intention will be to establish a new model of providing and commissioning home care on a sub-area basis in Gwynedd, with – dependent on their decision in due course - joint commissioning with the Health Board.

It was also decided to ask for a mixed market to be held which would mean that the Council would continue to provide at least half of the home care market in communities in the county, along with external specialist companies in other communities. The intention will be to ensure that the new model achieves the objectives of achieving better outcomes for people, improving staff terms and conditions and creating a more sustainable home care market in the county.

Nefyn in Pen Llŷn is one of the areas that has piloted the new ways of working. Ann Evans Hughes from the area has been receiving home care following an injury and a period of some months in hospital.

She said: “I had never needed carer sin the past and have lived very independently.

“After discussing with the social worker, we decided on the kind of help that would be needed and everyone has been so good to me.

“At the beginning, a community nurse helped me too. But I along with the staff also try to make sure that I can do things myself as I’m capable enough, but knowing that I have the phone number should I need any help.

“The staff lift my spirits, they’re so positive. Now that they see me getting better, they get satisfaction as they’ve been with me throughout the journey. Not only have they helped me in the kitchen, put clothes out on the line and rubbish in the bin, but they have also helped me emotionally as well – they’ve helped me to rebuild my self-confidence.

“They are free to discuss, and we can adjust the help I receive. As I discuss with them, I can try some things for myself but knowing that there’s help available. The flexibility in the system is a real benefit. This model allows you to change as is required and means that the individual is what’s important. Everyone is different and all our needs vary. It shows respect for the individual.

“I can do more for myself now and that helps me to get better and regain confidence, which in turn helps me get stronger mentally and emotionally. It lifts your spirits to see yourself coming along.

“I hope to keep getting better, to keep regaining confidence and regain my independence. That’s the aim and that’s probably what we all want.”

PHOTOGRAPH: Ann Evans Hughes has been receiving home care