Specialist residential care in Somerset

Commissioners at Somerset County Council and NHS Somerset have worked with Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to develop specialist residential care.

Specialist Residential Care provides 24-hour person centred care in a residential environment for people with dementia, with skilled support from Specialist Care Development Nurses employed by Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Specialist Care Development Nurses are members of Older Person’s Community Mental Health Teams and visit each home at least twice a week to provide support and assist with admissions, care planning and individual care programmes. They also help the homes to assess new admissions to enable them to maintain a good balance of levels of need across their residents and provide the link to the Older Person’s Community Mental Health Team, which includes access to Psychiatry and Psychological support.

All 10 homes providing Specialist Residential Care are rated as good or excellent by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), and have 5 year rolling contracts with Somerset County Council which provides some stability. Sarah Gillard, owner of Wellington House commented that ‘Somerset is good at talking with providers and that is the key to everything’.

An independent review was completed in early 2009 which found that Specialist Residential Care is unique in how it uses dedicated Specialist Care Development Nurse time in conjunction with traditional contracting measures, which makes it both effective and different to anything else identified elsewhere regionally or nationally. The review concluded that Specialist Residential Care delivered high quality, personalised, services for people with dementia at an affordable cost.

For more information please contact:

Geoff Snell, Service and Operations Manager Strategic Commissioning Team & ASC Lead for Self Directed Support, Somerset County Council

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