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Home Care Service and staff: ‘Highly Valued’ ‘Trusted’ and ‘Best Practice.’

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A peer review of Milton Keynes Councils in-house Home Care Service has highlighted a high quality and highly valued service described as an "exemplar of Best Practice".

The Councils service supports the most vulnerable people with complex care needs living in the community.  The 125 staff who work in the service are seen as a key strength. The service is also seen as a provider that deals with cases the external private home care struggles with. Milton Keynes Council funds two home care services:

  • A high quality in house service that focuses on complex needs.
  • A general needs service provided by independent or private providers. This deals with lower need care services. It is due to be re-structured in the near future to provide a better service. 

The Peer review was undertaken by Social Care Directors from Derby City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council. The key findings were:

“We heard a consistent message from everyone that contributed to the Peer Review, including the CCG, that Milton Keynes Home Care (MKHC) is highly valued. It is seen as an exemplar of best practice; the care it provides is viewed as being of a high quality and it is well led at all levels from Team Leaders upwards.

Internal staff highlighted consistently that MKHC was the provider of choice in respect of complex cases. There were a number of examples highlighted that showed the service does look at providing value for money and is able to identify efficiencies in care provision. The service was particularly valued in how it can support safeguarding both in terms of the limited number of alerts and also in respect of support for safeguarding enquiries.”

The training that is provided to staff is seen as a key strength, particularly in respect of dementia and also person-centred care, as it helps to equip staff to work with individuals with challenging presentations.”             

MKHC has a strong focus on individuals, their needs and outcomes and on supporting rather than doing for. They work in a way that is consistent with the Council’s strategy around independence. We were not concerned that MKHC is out of sync with an agenda to reduce dependency on council services.” And…

It was heartening to hear from all we spoke to, that the decisions made, or solutions proposed, by MKHC were trusted. People also reflected that the provider staff’s risk assessment was robust, not risk averse and positive about supporting risk in a community setting.

Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet member for Adult Social Care said, “I am pleased that our high quality and effective in house home care service has had a big vote of confidence from the peer review.”

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Cllr Nigel Long

He added, “The peer review highlighted that the privatised general care service often turned to the in-house service when people had growing needs.”  The peer review said the Council works “hard to maintain people in the community and persevere with challenging cases; however, it does raise a question about how this feeds into the external provision. There was some sense of a ‘get out route’ for providers if things get tricky.

Cllr Long concluded, “I want to thank the staff for all their hard work week in and week out including at weekends. It is all about providing good services to people with high and complex care needs. Our staff do it very well. That’s why I value them and the service.”

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