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Future Care Group

The Future Care Group stands as an example of excellence in the UK’s care industry, operating 18 care homes renowned for their personcentred approach and commitment to bespoke elder care. With a steadfast dedication to quality and a vision aimed at empowering individuals to lead meaningful lives, the Future Care Group has garnered recognition as one of the Top 20 recommended care home groups in the nation. Embracing innovation as a cornerstone of their philosophy, they have partnered with esteemed institutions like the Royal College of Nursing to advance the standards of care. At the forefront of this commitment is their adoption of the PainChek® app across their consortium of care homes, illustrating their unwavering pursuit of compassionate and innovative care practices.

Assessing Pain: The Challenges We Face

Assessing pain in our residents can pose several challenges, which can significantly impact their quality of life and well-being. One of the primary challenges arises from communication barriers. Many residents may have cognitive impairments, language barriers, or difficulties expressing themselves verbally due to conditions such as dementia or aphasia. This makes it challenging for them to effectively communicate their pain levels or describe their symptoms accurately to our carers, leading to potential underassessment and undertreatment of pain.

In addition to communication barriers, the subjective nature of pain presents another significant challenge. Pain is a highly subjective experience, varying from person to person. Residents often express pain differently or have different thresholds for pain tolerance, complicating the assessment process. Our carers must rely on observational skills and clinical judgment to interpret non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, body language, or changes in behaviour to assess pain accurately.

Due to numerous factors such as fear of medication side effects, concerns about bothering our care team, or a reluctance to acknowledge their vulnerability, it is common for residents to underreport their pain. This underreporting can lead to inadequate pain management and diminished quality of life for residents. Plus, pain symptoms may overlap with other medical conditions or symptoms of ageing, making it challenging to distinguish between painrelated symptoms and those stemming from other causes. Careful assessment and thorough clinical evaluation are essential to ensure accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Time constraints and heavy workloads faced by carers across our homes further exacerbate the challenge of pain assessment. Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive approach, including, ongoing staff training, interdisciplinary collaboration, and detailed, personalised care plans tailored to each resident’s unique needs and preferences. And of course, the use of validated assessment tools such as PainChek®, is paramount.

How PainChek® has Transformed Care at the Future Care Group

At the Future Care Group, our mission is to create an environment where residents thrive and find purpose. We are dedicated to pushing beyond conventional care models, constantly seeking innovative approaches to enhance the quality of life for those under our care.

To ensure optimal pain management for all residents, we have embraced innovative technology and integrated applications like Nourish and PainChek® into our care practices. Our Nourish handset camera, coupled with the PainChek® application, employs AIdriven facial recognition to analyse facial expressions, automatically detecting and documenting facial muscle movements associated with pain.

Nourish serves as our premier care planning system, enabling staff to effortlessly log their care provision on handheld devices. With electronic care records readily accessible, care plans remain up-to-date and accessible to staff around the clock, streamlining communication and ensuring comprehensive care provision.

The PainChek® app represents a breakthrough in pain assessment, particularly for residents who may struggle to communicate verbally, such as those living with dementia. By simply scanning a resident’s face with their handset, our carers can leverage the app’s AI capabilities to identify subtle changes indicative of pain. This objective pain score facilitates prompt intervention, empowering our nurses to administer appropriate pain relief and monitor its effectiveness over time.

We extend our appreciation to Thomas Morton from PainChek® for his invaluable assistance in integrating this transformative technology. PainChek® continues to play a pivotal role in enhancing the well-being, quality of care, and overall quality of life for our residents.

Sue Roberts, Group Head of Quality and Compliance & Senior Risk Manager at the Future Care Group, emphasises the critical role of PainChek® in ensuring residents’ comfort, particularly in end-of-life care scenarios:

“Regular use of PainChek® enables us to monitor changes in pain levels and adjust care plans accordingly, ensuring residents receive tailored and effective pain management interventions.

Beyond pain management, our commitment extends to proactive measures like the implementation of anticipatory medications as part of our end-of-life care planning. These medications are pre-emptively prescribed to address potential symptoms or complications, promoting comfort and dignity during residents’ end-of-life journey.

Through the integration of tools like PainChek® and comprehensive staff training in pain management techniques, we uphold our commitment to delivering compassionate and effective care tailored to the unique needs of each resident. This dedication ensures that residents receive the support they need to navigate their journey with us in comfort and with dignity.”

Interested in implementing PainChek in your facility?

Submit your expression of interest today.