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Carevolution project: New roles and competences for home care workers in the framework of integrated care of elderly people with chronic diseases

Authors:

Itziar Alvarez ,

Grupo Servicios Sociales Integrados, ES
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Karmele Acedo,

Grupo Servicios Sociales Integrados, ES
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Marieke Meppelder,

Vilans, NL
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Davina Coupar,

West College Scotland, GB
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Olwen Kirkpatrick,

West College Scotland, GB
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Maria Chiara Vita-Finzi,

Melius, IT
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Betty Casado

Iniciativas Innovadoras, ES
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Abstract

Introduction: Demographic change is a globally recognized societal challenge. The demand for health and care services will grow, due to ageing of population and increase of chronic conditions; however currently there are not sustainable models for health and care delivery. In this sense, integrated care is increasingly accepted as a

precondition to the long-term sustainability of health and care systems.  An enabler that will support the process of transformation of health and care delivery towards integrated care is the workforce. Carevolution European project focuses on the side and perspective of professionals that work at Home Care Service, the homecare workers.

Short description of practice change implemented: Carevolution project enhances the current vocational training for homecare workers, allowing them to be part of a network that cares for elderly people with chronic diseases at home within integrated care systems and models. Moreover Carevolution project transforms a profession to adequate it to the new systems and models for delivering care.

Aim and theory of change: Carevolution project aims at the development of a new training curricula and learning materials in order to train homecare workers in new competences for the integrated care of elderly people with chronic conditions.

Home care workers are the closest professional in contact with the elderly. It is for that reason that it is expected they might support the process of implementation of integrated care systems and models, delivering new higher added value tasks. Currently they cannot complete these tasks, because they do not have the necessary competences to complete them. Existing professional qualification frameworks for homecare workers do not contemplate which potential roles homecare workers might play within integrated care systems and models, hindering thus any kind of training efforts of such workforce on the skills necessary for the adoption of such roles.

Targeted population: Targeted population of Carevolution project includes homecare workers

and Vocational and Education Training Institutions training home care workers.

Stakeholders:

Carevolution stakeholder are:

- EU & National Professional Qualification bodies

- Health & social/community services

- Home care providers

- Home cared elderly people and family caregivers

Timeline: Carevolution project duration is from the 1st of September of 2015 to the 31st of August of 2017.

February 2016-March 2016 → Identification of unmet needs for an integrated care of elderly people with chronic conditions

April 2016 – June 2016 → Development of the professional profile for the enhanced homecare worker

June - October 2016 → Development of the General Training Curricula

October - November 2016 → Development of the National Training Curriculas

November 2016 - February 2017 → Development of the Learning Materials

February2017 - May 2017 → Piloting

June 2017-July → Optimisation of Training Curriculas and Learning Materials

Innovation: The innovation of Carevolution project lies in defining the role and competences for homecare workers within integrated care systems and models and developing a new General Training Curricula and Learning Materials to train these professional on these competences.

Impact:

- Regarding the elderly, Carevolution project supports the improvement of the care elderly people receive.

- Regarding the homecare workers, Carevolution project allows them to access to new training opportunities on competences demanded for new integrated care models, enhancing their professional qualification and employability and uplifting the social consideration of these professionals, by the adoption of new functions and roles requiring a bigger qualification and increase number of homecare workers trained in and implementing new roles and functions on integrated care models.

- Regarding the health & social services, home care providers and Vocational Education Training institutions, Carevolution project allows them to know the role that home care workers can play on integrated care systems and models, and the new competences on which home care workers might be trained to support the implementation of integrated care models.


 

Outcomes:

- 1 New Professional profile

The Carevolution project partners identified the unmet needs for an integrated care of elderly people with chronic conditions and compared the existing professional profiles in partner countries. The analyzed existing professional profiles were level 2 in Scotland, Spain and The Netherlands, whilst in Italy the only professional profile in the sector was level 3. This situation brought to choose the solution of creating an enhanced level 2 professional profile.

- 1 New General Training Curricula

- 4 New National Training Curricula adapted to specific needs and context

- 4 New National learning materials

Comments on sustainability: Public bodies, mainly health and social systems, should recognize the new role of home care workers on integrated care models within integrated care systems and models, to guarantee the effective deployment of this new role.

Comment on transferability: The New Professional Profile and General Training Curricula are documents that all European institutions in the field of Home Care Service can easily adapt to their existing structures and certifications.

Conclusions: The Carevolution project partners after identifying the unmet needs for an integrated care of elderly people with chronic conditions and comparing the existing professional profiles in partner countries, defined four cluster of competences homecare workers should be trained on to deliver new higher added value tasks within integrated care system and models:

- Group 1: “Health care” includes competences referring to physical intervention, promotion of health, people-centred care and empowerment of elderly people to become active participants of their conditions

- Group 2: “Communication” refers to effective communication

- Group 3: ”Information and communication Technologies” refers to the use of appropriate assisted living technologies to empower elderly people with chronic illnesses to live more independently at home

- Group 4: “Self – enrichment” refers to continuous learning, including reflection on own´s practice, and team work competences

The new professional profile, including the four cluster of competences was defined as Enhanced Home Care Worker. In general, the Enhanced Home Care Worker can be defined as a person being aware of and using his/her skills and competences, working in a structured or unstructured network of professionals, able to carry out activities of integrated care at home and assistance to people with chronic health conditions, in order to meet their basic needs and promote their well-being and autonomy and social integration.

Discussions: The Carevolution project broke new ground in terms of defining new competences for home care workers within integrated care systems and models, and developing a new General Training Curricula and new Learning Materials transferable to European regions. Nevertheless, empirical evidence of the implementation of this new role is needed.

Lesson learned: The use of Information and Communication Technologies by the workforce is a relevant issue.

Importance to discuss the new role with public bodies and achieve their recognition

Importance to adapt the general training curricula to regional context   

How to Cite: Alvarez I, Acedo K, Meppelder M, Coupar D, Kirkpatrick O, Vita-Finzi MC, et al.. Carevolution project: New roles and competences for home care workers in the framework of integrated care of elderly people with chronic diseases. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2017;17(5):A224. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.3534
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Published on 17 Oct 2017.

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