Are you currently providing domiciliary care but have toyed with the idea of providing supported living or residential care too? Perhaps acquiring some properties to be able to offer great homes and great support.
According to NHS Digital, ‘There were almost 2 million requests for adult social care support from nearly 1.4 million new service users… in 2021-22. This is equivalent to 5,420 requests per day in England, up by 170 requests per day on last year.’
Providers may be starting to consider how this growing demand could create an opportunity to expand the type of care they want to deliver.
In this article, we will be exploring some of the key things to keep in mind if you are looking to branch out your care provision as well as the digital tool that can help you deliver all types of care.
Things to consider when branching out your care provision
Domiciliary care providers will typically operate on a larger scale, either regionally or nationally, delivering care to people in their own homes. Care workers will visit their clients throughout the week for varying lengths of time, helping with personal support or domestic tasks.
42 million hours of home care was delivered between April / June 2022, 17% more than a similar period the year prior. As a care provider, you may want to consider whether to move with demand, adapting your business strategy to evolving models of care.
Domiciliary care will require an influx of skilled staff who are able to travel between clients in your area. Will you be able to employ the right number of staff in the right geographical areas? Do you understand the challenges of the complexity of payroll, mileage and expenses? You may need to consider how effectively you will be able to hire and train team members across multiple sites, so your service is able to keep up with demand.
Care homes tend to operate on a smaller scale. Their residents receive 24 - hour care in a setting that acts as their new home, having their own bedroom and bathroom facilities. Some providers may also offer nursing care in their home to provide additional, specialist support.
Residential care is often not the first option when receiving social care support, with more and more people choosing to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. However, some of the most vulnerable people in the care system need the highly concentrated care that a residential setting provides. According to the 2022 UK Care Homes Trading Performance Review, although rates are not as high as pre-pandemic levels, average occupancy levels are currently around 84% (compared to 79.4% in 2021).
You may want to consider your demographic before branching out into care home support. Is there a need for residential care in your area? Have other care homes recently closed because of increase in costs or lack of funding? Are property prices in your chosen region suitable for the demand? Are the costs of the additional services involved, such as laundry, catering, energy costs realistic to achieve the growth challenge?
Or perhaps you are already providing residential care but are looking to incorporate nursing care as well. You may need to explore the cost of staff or software you will need to invest in, in order to deliver continuous, specialised care for your potential residents.
Supported / Assisted Living / Extra Care and Others
There are a wide variety of services that exist being delivered to people of a variety of ages, who may not require care around-the-clock but would benefit from being in an environment where support is available – on either an ad hoc basis or regularly planned.
This may be in a community setting, such as flats, apartments or retirement villages. Support is provided to help with many different things: personal care, domestic support, or help with daily activities such as going to college, shopping or attending meetings.
The care required and age range of service users can vary widely. These services provide help for people with disabilities or mental health needs, to help them live independently.
If you have considered branching out into supported accommodation, you will need to be aware of mandatory quality standards and administrative requirements beforehand. As part of these requirements, you may need to consider the complexity of co-ordinating one-to-one, shared care and activities in lots of different areas including communal lounges, laundry facilities, salons etc.
Additionally, considerations about how you are going to ensure ongoing training for your staff. People may all live in the same building, but each person will have their own capabilities, needs and preferences. Your staff will need to have up-to-date training, equipped with the skills and knowledge they require to support a wide variety of needs their clients may have. They will also need to access individual care and support plans at the point of care as they move between clients, so each person receives the right personalised support.
There are of course many other types of care and support provisions and in every case, it is important to research the offering to understand the current requirements and potential strains that each type of provision can experience. It is important to monitor the sector to see where the trends are happening to be better informed.
By branching out to provide multiple types of care, you can expect to need an adapted business strategy and seek official business guidance. Only then can you truly identify whether it’s the right move for your organisation. With more clients, there will be an increase in workload; hiring, training, rostering, care plans, compliance and auditing just to name a few.
You need to be prepared for managing that demand. A digital tool that allows for complete care business management for any type of care, no matter the size of your service, is a way to do this.
Advanced Care Cloud is our flexible, cloud-based, care business management solution, designed for any type of care or support provider.
No matter the size of your care or support organisation, or whether you provide domiciliary, residential, supported living, retirement living or extra care, Advanced Care Cloud has got you covered.