Shared learning database

Home Instead Senior Care
Published date:
January 2014

Private domiciliary care provides a wide range of non medical support to people with dementia and their carers. Such companies are often the first point of contact with social support for the public. The aim of this approach to providing care is to better promote integration of private companies with public and statutory services.

Guidance the shared learning relates to:
Does the example relate to a general implementation of all NICE guidance?
Does the example relate to a specific implementation of a specific piece of NICE guidance?


Aims and objectives


  • To integrate Home Instead Senior Care with the statutory and voluntary services for Dementia clients and carers in the Tendring areaObjectives:
  • Home Instead to be aware of and have general understanding of the statutory and voluntary services for dementia clients in the Tendring area
  • Home Instead to be aware of and have general understanding of the statutory and voluntary services for carers involved with dementia clients in the Tendring area
  • Home Instead office to maintain a resource library of resources relating to dementia
  • Resources relating to dementia to be offered at no cost to clients, carers, statutory and voluntary organisations as the need arises
  • Home Instead to develop and maintain an ongoing working relationship with all statutory and voluntary services for dementia in Tendring
  • When caring for clients with dementia ensure they are aware of the various services available to them and support them, when needed, to access these services
  • For clients with dementia, maintain details of all agencies involved in their care and ask to be involved in multi-disciplinary meetings
  • Provided consent given, promptly supply information that will assist in care planning to other agencies
  • Attend relevant focus groups and forums such as the Tendring Older Peoples Forum
  • Promote inter-disciplinary work by activities that reach out to the community such as the Alzheimer Family Workshops which are open to the public and carers

Reasons for implementing your project

The owner of Home Instead Senior Care Clacton Frinton and Walton, comes from a nursing and midwifery background plus extensive experience with work overseas.  In setting up the service, it became apparent that private domiciliary care companies are very much on the outside of the care team and are viewed by the care team to be interested primarily in profit and not quality of care. The private domiciliary care companies provide extensive day to day care for clients with dementia yet are rarely included in multi-disciplinary meetings or care planning. The company sets up very detailed person centred care plans implemented by well trained care-givers and this is a big missed opportunity for dementia services who could use the care Home Instead provides to radically improve clients quality of life.

The company has been operating for over 5 years and in that time the owner has worked to set up a private domiciliary care company that is professional and puts the needs of the client first. She has built up an extensive network with statutory and voluntary agencies to which the company refers people to. The owner is still in the early stages of establishing this company as an equal and key player in the multi-disciplinary team. The general public who seek guidance from Home Instead generally report a lack of support and confusion with the dementia support in our area.

This is not a project as such rather an approach to care. In setting up the business, its leadership saw the need for better integration and collaboration between private companies and the statutory and voluntary sector. We did not carry out a baseline assessment but found, when meeting people or attending meetings that we were the only private care company working in this way. We involved our clients (patients) by signposting to them any useful resource we found and the feedback we got was that they were very grateful for this information and guidance. The benefit from following the NICE guidelines were the clients received a holistic care package and their independence was strengthened.

How did you implement the project

The steps we have taken to put NICE guidelines into practice are:

  • Regular visits and contact with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in dementia care
  • Attendance by the owner at key forums, meetings and consultation events
  • Establishment of a resource library at the office with materials from the above
  • Detailed person centred care plans which, among other things show:
    -all agencies involved in that persons care
    -gives extensive about the persons background, personal preferences, abilities etc
    -promotes independence and is adapted as needs change
  • Adoption of a health promotion approach to care whereby we seek to assist clients to achieve the best quality of life possible for them and work alongside them to achieve this
  • Active signposting to clients and their families to any useful resource which would improve their quality of life
  • Ongoing dissemination to office staff and caregivers about the above resources
  • Dementia training for caregivers. A two-day City and Guilds certified course
  • Consistent and caring support to caregivers to enable them to care for clients with dementia and cope with challenging behaviour
  • Alzheimer Family workshops which are free and open to family members, volunteers and any staff from the care sector

The steps taken to put NICE guidance in place are described in the box below. The main problem we faced was convincing the statutory and voluntary services to see us as an equal partner in the care sector and to convince them that being a private for profit company did not mean we were only interested in profit; i.e we had to convince them we had the clients best interest at heart and were committed to providing high quality care.

Key findings

  • Awarded Essex County Council 'Putting People First Award' in 2012. Finalist for this award in 2011
  • Excellent local reputation for quality of care as evidenced by verbal feedback from statutory and voluntary services and from clients and their families
  • Positive feedback from caregivers re dementia training
  • Positive feedback from participants of Alzheimer Family Workshops
  • Positive feedback regarding standard of care via our quality assurance programme
  • Owner occupied role of Chair of Tendring Older Peoples Forum for 2 years

Our main means of monitoring this method of working is by our referrals. Each time we have an enquiry for our service we ask the person where they heard about us from. We then monitor how many enquiries we receive from each agency and can see if our level of contact with them has increased.

Key learning points

The key learning points we would like to give other private care companies are:

  • Network with any statutory and voluntary services to find out about what they do and how our clients can access these services and resources
  • Encourage your clients to access these resources
  • Build up a resource library. You do not need many of each leaflets etc as a lot of the time we give information over the phone to clients
  • Develop simple resource fact sheets for clients to use. Keep the information as simple as possible otherwise it is too daunting for clients
  • Remember how confusing, complex and overwhelming members of the public find our health and social services now and what a valuable role you play in signposting them to useful resources

Contact details

Jean Allen
Home Instead Senior Care

Is the example industry-sponsored in any way?

Home Instead is a private company, a franchise business.