Home Community-Based Care | Western Cape Government

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Home Community-Based Care



The Home Community-Based Care services (HCBC) provided by Western Cape Government Health promotes good health and the prevention of ill health. HCBC is a responsive service to the needs of the community that seeks to make health services more proactive and patient-centred.

These services function through broad partnerships with role players in government sectors and the community, such as the Department of Social Development, the Western Cape Education Department, non-profit organisations and others. The aim is that the services offered can be tailor-made for the unique circumstances of each client or the community that the community-based services team serves.     

HCBC services allow you to be cared for in familiar surroundings with loved ones. The service also aims to empower a community to take care of its unique health needs and bring the concept of Community-Orientated Primary Care to life.   

Should you be ill and require care at home, our HCBC team can be contacted for a referral. The service provided aims to do the following:

  • maintain the health and well-being of the patient
  • prevent further illnesses and disability
  • care for minor health problems and long-term conditions
  • recover from illnesses and hospitalisation through the use of rehabilitation services
  • receive palliative care at home if necessary 

Who can benefit from this service?

Any person with an appropriate referral from a Western Cape Government Health facility to HCBC services can benefit.

A patient will meet the criteria to receive HCBC if they:

  • have a compromised functional status requiring supported self-care,
  • have treatment adherence and support needs due to being diagnosed with a chronic condition, and
  • have end-of-life care needs.

If you need Home Community-Based Care, a healthcare worker will visit you at home to assess your immediate healthcare needs and direct how your care plan and appropriate interventions and treatments can be delivered by Community Health Workers (CHWs).  The needs of the patient will be reviewed every 6 weeks as part of the programme. 

The Role of the Community Health Worker (CHW)

Our CHWs are trained to develop stable personal relationships with each household, which builds understanding, empathy, and trust. These healthcare workers assist the patients to adjust at home by considering personal factors such as their coping abilities, lifestyle issues, behaviour patterns and habits. The CHWs have an important role to play in educating communities as a whole and interacting with households regularly.

Please note: CHWs do not provide around-the-clock or fulltime care and are not to be used as a replacement for a domestic worker. They will only visit you according to your treatment schedule.

If you’ve been hospitalised and require home-based care after being discharged, our CHWs will assist patients by providing care and support for up to 6 weeks. This can be extended if necessary, following a review of the initial care plan set up by the healthcare team.

Patients who live with HIV, TB, diabetes, hypertension, asthma and mental illnesses can also be assisted with their prescribed medication intake and supported by HCBC to live positively with their illness. This  in turn can reduce the need for acute medical services.  

Community interventions provided by the team of CHWs focus on projects and activities in any given community that will reduce risk factors that contribute significantly to the burden of disease such as:

  • poor hygiene, for example not washing hands often
  • healthy pregnancy and the First Thousand Days
  • prevention of childhood illnesses like diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition   
  • childhood immunisations
  • developmental milestones, for example the importance of crawling
  • safer sex, for example using a condom
  • reproductive health education: family planning methods   
  • gender-based Violence and bullying
  • use of tobacco and alcohol
  • substance abuse
  • healthy nutrition and physical activity
  • creating programmes to raise awareness around a particular health concern – support around the COVID-19 pandemic     

Services to households include a holistic service package, from newborns to the elderly. These services include:

  • TB case-finding,
  • reproductive health advice,
  • healthy pregnancy and safe delivery,
  • promotion of general hygiene, and
  • safety in the home.

How to access this service

Please contact your district office to find out how you can access HCBC through your nearest health facility. One can contact a public health facility near you for an HCBC referral. 

Provided At: These facility categories:
Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)

All hidden costs incurred by the NPO partners are not adequately subsidised and in order to prevent a dependency syndrome, a small freewill contribution could be made to the NPO partner to reimburse transport costs incurred by their volunteers.

The content on this page was last updated on 21 September 2022