A Harrogate-based home care company is launching a new pilot scheme to ensure people in the community can get the care they need 24 hours a day.
Continued Care, which was established in Harrogate in 1991, is launching a night service to support people living within their own homes who need assistance over night.
At present, services are only available during the day, meaning people cannot access care between around 10pm in the evening and 7am the following day. This means those needing support at night either have to rely on family members, or have no alternative but to go in to residential care which might not be in their best interests.
Continued Care Director Samantha Harrison said:
The lack of a night service in Harrogate is something we know causes real problems for our service users.
We have spent many months working with them to plan a pilot service, which will enable us to offer additional care over night. That might be administering medication, assisting with toilet visits or simply helping someone to change position in bed, which is so important in avoiding problems like bed sores.
Like all of Continued Care’s work, the night service is not just for the elderly. Samantha and her team of nearly 100 staff know that there are many younger people in Harrogate who would benefit from access to an over-night care service.
We have younger clients who want that flexibility on an evening.They don’t want to have to be at home for 9pm because that’s when their carers are able to visit.
If they want to go for a drink with their friends, or out to the theatre, the night service will mean they can do that and not have to worry about rushing back. Equally, if someone needs to be up and dressed early ready for a hospital appointment or a trip away, the night service will offer them the support they need before 7am.
One of those who will benefit from the new service is Oliver, 35, who been a service user with Continued Care for more than five years. He is an active member of its Service User Forum, to ensure clients’ voices are heard, and has campaigned strongly for a new night service to be introduced locally.
I’m 35 years old. I’ve still got that drive and motivation to stay up a bit later.
If my friends call and ask if I want to go for a drink, I want to be able to say ‘yes’. At the moment, I have to be home by 9.30pm for bed – nobody else has to do that, so why should I?
Oliver has spent many months speaking to other service users who may benefit from a night service. As a volunteer with many organisations, he has also used his contacts in social care and elsewhere to gauge the potential for introducing the service.
His research showed a high demand for care visits during the night. As well as people keen to have the opportunity to stay up later at night, many would benefit from support getting to the bathroom – or a simple check-in to ensure they are safe and well.
At present, people supported by social care can go as long as 12 hours without a visit, meaning those who need support to move around have to stay in bed. For Oliver, Continued Care is the perfect choice to offer a new night service.
I know with Continued Care, they’re always reliable and committed and dedicated.I’m so grateful to Samantha for taking this on, because it means so much to me and to other people.
I know we can achieve so much if this is successful. It’s so needed in Harrogate and that’s why I’ve fought for it.
With pressure on hospitals frequently in the headlines, the pilot scheme will help to ensure patients are discharged as soon as possible, enabling them to continue recovering at home supported. Without overnight care available, hospitals are having to keep patients on wards longer, or discharge them to residential care instead of their own home as service provision was not available.
The pilot scheme will also help to relieve the pressure on family members who are currently providing care to their loved ones. With carers calling in at pre-arranged times during the night, relatives can get a full night’s sleep knowing that their loved one is in good hands.
Continued Care is now looking for people in the community in the Harrogate and Knaresborough area to take part in the night service pilot scheme.
The company is also looking for carers to join its night service. Working in pairs, they will travel by car to visit clients in their own homes during the night, and will have a dedicated base at the company’s headquarters off Skipton Road.
Continued Care offers permanent contracts with paid holidays and a company pension scheme. It also offers training to all staff, including the opportunity to gain qualifications including NVQs.