Adult Social Care Direct in Gateshead

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Summary of report content

The subject of this report was chosen following a consultation exercise with the public as part of our annual priority-setting exercise. During that work, the public told us they felt it was important for us to focus on this topic.

We engaged in several ways. There was a survey of users of the ASCD service, and a listening event with unpaid carers, the public and voluntary and community sector organisations. We also surveyed GP practice staff referring people to ASCD. This gave us views from a wide variety of users on the effectiveness of the service and suggestions for how it could be enhanced. Some people felt there had been some improvements since the internal review in autumn 2018. However, there were areas which could be improved further. People who responded to our survey told us that, when signposted to other services, it was generally to the correct person or organisation to meet their needs. The service overall was rated as very good or good. However, some professionals told us that there were inconsistencies in advice and support and outcomes varied depending on who was responding to the query. This sometimes resulted in re-referrals being necessary. Online forms were introduced in October 2018 to take pressure off the ASCD telephone service. Most of our respondents used the telephone service. It appears that some people were not aware of the option for online referrals. Those who had used the online forms found them difficult to complete and suggested improvements. 2 The respondents to our information-gathering showed that everyone, except one person, who completed the demographic section of the monitoring form was white British. We believe this needs to be explored further by ASCD so it can be certain that the service is known to and being accessed by all who need support, avoiding inequalities in social care service provision. Further details of how we engaged, our findings and recommendations can be found in the relevant sections of this report.

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General details

Report title 
Adult Social Care Direct in Gateshead
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Gateshead
Date of publication 
Monday, 2 March, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health inequalities
Health promotion
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Adult social care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Service manager
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.