HC-One expands its dementia care offering with the launch of its first Specialist Dementia Care CommHC-One has opened its new pilot Specialist Dementia Care Community (SDCC) in Meadow Bank Care Home, in Preston, Lancashire. 

Pioneering a new therapeutic approach, this service is the first of its kind and is set to revolutionise dementia care at HC-One for people with complex needs. 

HC-One is the UK’s largest provider of dementia care to the public sector and is responding to the increasing complexity of dementia, by developing the SDCC as a service that sits above the traditional categories of care. 

HC-One realises that the existing dementia residential and nursing dementia care categories have become ‘catch-alls’ for a myriad of needs. HC-One has developed its SDCC proposition to better look after people who display distressed behaviour. Previously these people may have been prescribed anti-psychotic medication and might currently be inappropriately placed or needing 1:1 support to manage their behaviour. 

HC-One’s re-thinking of what ‘good’ needs to look like has embraced leadership, bespoke staffing, staff competence and skills, and environmental design.  

The SDCC is an enhanced service which focuses on the welfare and wellbeing of people who are emotionally distressed by their dementia and therefore require specialist care and support. The SDCC is designed to provide a therapeutic care setting that incorporates several key elements:

•    Small scale communities and low arousal interior design provide therapeutic living environments that feel homely and less clinical; 
•    Despite the complexity of their behaviour and the severity of their distress, the SDCC teams define the person by who they are, and not by the dementia they are living with;
•    HC-One is breaking the mould of what a staffing structure should look like, piloting new specialist roles and skill sets, such as assistant psychologists, to work therapeutically with Residents, giving them a quality of life previously denied to them in traditional care settings;
•    Bespoke and advanced Learning & Development delivery in partnership with Dementia Care Managers support this model; 
•    On-going wrap around clinical support and advice from the Dementia Care Team; 
•    The SDCC's 'traffic light' care planning governs interventions at times of escalating distress;
•    Encouraging the creation of a multi-disciplinary teams (MDT) who understand the SDCC's 'traffic light' approach and the type of in-reach support that might be required;
•    Robust pre-admission framework and criteria to support appropriate admissions to create a sustainable community.

The service at Meadow Bank will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. 

Service delivery has been built around the needs of Residents to ensure the best care possible can be delivered. This includes the service being led by a Specialist Dementia Service Lead due to the complexity of need and specialist training being provided for Colleagues in positive approaches to behaviour, de-escalation interventions and safe restrictive practices. 

The pre-admission assessment, led by both the Specialist Dementia Service Lead and Home Manager, will identify the person’s needs and establish if their behaviour has therapeutic potential and would therefore benefit from being in a more suitable environment with specialist Colleagues who prioritise holistic understanding, supportive relationships and good communication, and a staffing model that values an interdisciplinary approach and continuity of care.

Residents will move on to more traditional nursing care as their dementia progresses, or if the skill and knowledge required to meet their behavioural needs are transferable to step-down care settings. This is identified through a rigorous assessment process and well in advance of any planned discharge date.

The SDCC is part of HC-One’s enhanced dementia strategy, announced earlier in 2023, through which HC-One is seeking to lead the way in the delivery of innovation and excellence in the standard of enhanced dementia care services it offers, and in doing so, become a sector leader and provider of choice for those living with dementia.

Julie Rennie, the daughter of one of the first residents at the Meadow Bank Specialist Dementia Care Community, said: 
"I’ve noticed recently that my Dad is doing more... He gets involved with Karaoke and doing jobs around the home – the staff keep me updated as to how he is and what he is doing. I’m really happy that he has put a bit of weight on and is doing well. I can’t thank staff enough." 

Graham Stokes, Director of Dementia Care Services at HC-One said:
“I am delighted that our Specialist Dementia Care Community has opened at Meadow Bank Care Home. This really is a revolutionary moment in dementia care.  
“The difference between a standard Residential dementia care setting and a specialist dementia unit is that the former asks ‘what’ - what is wrong with this person, what can’t they do, what have they started to do - and our specialist dementia unit asks ‘why’ - why is this person feeling this way, acting in this manner, experiencing life in this way? This approach better equips our specialist teams to work therapeutically with Residents of the SDCC.
“The SDCC will provide a model of care that ultimately gives people living with dementia the care they need and the life they want.” 

 
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