What people told us
When Healthwatch across the country visited care homes, they spoke to residents, their families and staff about what works and what could be better. They identified three key themes.
Quality of care varies between homes, but also within the same home
Our visitors saw lots of homes that were doing things well. However, in most homes they suggested at least one improvement, showing that even well-performing homes can learn from feedback.
Too few homes that local Healthwatch visited were getting every aspect of care right.
It's important to provide the basics, such as keeping homes clean and providing enough trained staff to keep residents safe. But it's also important to meet residents' other needs. This might mean changing the culture of a home rather than spending lots of money. We want to see all care homes provide consistently good care.
Good care homes meet all people's health and care needs, in a joined up way
People in care homes often need high levels of both health and care support.
We saw variations in the way homes respond to residents' different needs. For example, some homes we visited didn't have dementia friendly decor, while in other homes residents weren't given support they needed to see GPs and dentists.
We want to see a greater focus on meeting people's individual health and care needs.
The best services recognise that they are people's homes
Residents in care homes should be supported to live as full a life as possible. They should have the opportunity to take part in the same activities they might do in their own homes.
We saw some great examples of care staff taking the time to provide activities that were tailored to the individual.
We want to see everyone in care homes get this kind of care, and suggest that smarter use of information technology could support this.