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Not just about the money…

  • Angela May

The cost of care seems to never be out of the headlines, but have we got the emphasis wrong? Is it about the cost? Or is it about best use of budgets? It’s looking at “the bigger picture”.

Rose MurphyAlmost a decade ago, the Better Outcomes, Lower Costs report was published, but little has changed. That report advised taking a more holistic approach to provision of solutions to enable people to cope, live without relying on a carer. It looked at what achieved the best result for the available money, rather than what was the cheapest option.

At first glance, it seems ‘cheaper’ to arrange for a carer to visit however frequently in a day, every day, rather than spend £00s or £000s on adapting someone’s home so they can cope without that care support. But time and again, it is proven that an appropriate adaptation enables that person to live independently, and the ‘cost’ of that adaptation is recouped against the cost of daily care provision within months.

Would you like a stranger to be wiping your bottom? I imagine not. The cost of a wash & dry/bidet toilet is less than £3000. That equates to less than £8/day, if spread over a year. How much would it cost to send a carer in every day, at least twice a day, just to help you go to the loo? More than £8/day…

And that care provision- and its cost- continues, year after year. The toilet is a ‘one-off’ cost: its benefits attained after that first year are in effect free! So what gives the better use of budgets?

And the impact extends beyond the one care budget.

It is also proven that enabling people to remain independent has a positive impact on their wellbeing. They require less medical intervention. That reduces pressures on NHS budgets, and beds.

We’ve actually had a client say that having one of our toilets at home enabled them to come home earlier than anticipated after surgery because it reduced/eliminated the need for care provision. That released the bed for someone else…. click here to read the case study.

So there are benefits for adopting an alternative approach. Just because that’s the way it’s always been done doesn’t mean it’s the most efficient, best way. At least consider the options to achieve best value from stretched resources.

Closomat Limited, Building 1, Brooklands Place, Brooklands Road, Sale Cheshire, M33 3SD