Learn Nursing Opinion

The role of nursing in domiciliary care

Maggie Candy

Maggie Candy RN, Nurse Consultant, Cavendish Professional Homecare

The Covid- 19 pandemic has taught me two things.  It has highlighted the urgent need for all areas of nursing to work collectively in care provision, and that receiving care at home is now perceived by the public as being the best choice above other alternatives, such as care homes or hospices. Consequently, domiciliary care has seen a huge rise in referrals, especially for palliative and end of life services.

I believe all areas of nursing are equally important, and care is best delivered when staff work together across service boundaries to ensure great care wherever the environment.  Patients cannot leave hospitals without suitable and sustainable community services.  Domiciliary care must be included as part of the “Care Chain” alongside hospital’s and care homes in any discharge planning.

At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, domiciliary care agencies were not prioritised for the supply of government PPE provision or staff vaccinations, making it extremely difficult for staff to accept discharges from hospitals or work safely in the community. This magnifies the need for joined up Government thinking about healthcare nurses and workers, as all are crucial in care delivery.

Domiciliary care provides great community and district nursing services support and staff deserve to be recognised for the vital roles they provide in keeping people safe in their own homes.  These nurses and care staff help ensure that unnecessary hospital admissions are kept to a minimum.

Much best practice is evidenced within domiciliary care.  It is a rewarding career choice when care is delivered competently by nursing staff who understand their clients.

Nursing staff also help compliment the relevant community, palliative and district nurse teams.

The benefits of home care are also evidenced by those living with dementia, as they often thrive with the right healthcare provided. This environment encourages greater personal interactions and assists staff to find the person behind the illness, whatever the health condition.

Cavendish Homecare is a prestigious London based domiciliary care agency, that is forward thinking and evolving its services to offer the very best in dementia, end of life and palliative care.

Involving families closely, they support the dementia led “John’s Campaign” ethos in all aspects of care planning, as this really helps staff anticipate the client needs.

Currently we are working with St Christopher’s Hospice on a pilot project for their new international “Lantern Model” of end of life care. This model identifies the person dying, their family, unpaid care staff, the wider multi-disciplinary team and other agencies, making the care delivery truly holistic and person centered.

Devised by nurses (Heather Richardson and Marie Cooper), this Lantern Model is refreshing as it is nurse led and involves all concerned in the client’s care including staff.

We hold monthly webinar discussions and staff provide feedback on how this model is influencing their understanding and practice.  Staff use personal and reflective examples of putting this model into use.  This can only serve to benefit all who access our services.

Co-Founder Marie Cooper, (Project Lead for Celebrating Palliative Care Nursing, St Christopher’s Hospice) has been key in working with us and we are giving feedback to their advisory and focus group panel.

Nursing practice is always about innovation – it must evolve and share ideas to keep up with the changing needs of all service users.

I encourage all care groups whatever setting to follow John’s Campaign, the Lantern Model and Movement for Improvement to celebrate the very best in social care nursing!

Maggie Candy is a Nursing Consultant at Cavendish Professionals Homecare, a John’s Campaign Ambassador and Movement for Improvement Activist


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