Jackie Brown* – Kasabach-Merritt Syndrome

Making sure that Jackie Brown* has the best possible care is the top priority for her family. With Almond Care in place, they are happy that that is what she is receiving.

Jackie, now in her 50s, has the very rare blood condition Kasabach-Merritt Syndrome, in which vascular tumors – caused by the excessive growth of blood vessels – trap and destroy the platelets that are crucial to clotting.

She lives independently in the Midlands but over time her condition has confined her to a wheelchair and during 2014 it became clear that she needed more complex care than her existing live-in care provider was able to provide.

A switch to another care provider started promisingly, with careful planning and preparation for putting the care package into action, but ended after only a couple of weeks. As a result another care company had to be found very quickly and a nurse’s recommendation led to Almond Care, who took over her care in October 2014.

Her sister Teresa* explains: “Although we were a bit wary because of our experience with the other provider, we didn’t have time to look around and had to take what was recommended but Almond Care director Julia Senah and our Almond Care Quality Assurance Manager came to the house and discussed different options for packages.

“Previously, Jackie had had one live-in carer for both day and night but that wasn’t really working. Now Almond Care provide one live-in carer but also provide a further carer daily from 8am-8pm and another carer works a waking night shift, from 8pm-8am.

“Jackie has a small team of regular carers covering day and night shifts alongside her regular live-in carer, which is important, as we didn’t want a succession of different people – she just isn’t well enough.

“The Quality Assurance Manager was our main point of contact and ensured everything ran smoothly by overseeing all the care provided. We feel happy knowing that if there has been a problem it has been resolved quickly and any concerns dealt with.”

Teresa describes the family as “close-knit” and their commitment to Jackie’s well-being includes their acting as part of her support team – Almond Care are on duty for a fortnight and then the family provide her care for her week.

That closeness also means they are very clear about the standards they expect from care providers. Teresa says: “From our point of view, Almond Care’s expectations of what the package should deliver have been pretty much our own expectations and it has been good having someone overseeing things who agrees and doesn’t regard what we are asking for as unreasonable.

“Jackie feels comfortable with her carers and feels comfortable asking for what she needs – and that’s the most important thing.”

* Names changed at client’s request.

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