Barnet care home residents experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Barnet wanted to understand the experiences of care home residents during the pandemic and the effects on their physical and mental wellbeing. They emailed a survey to the 83 CQC-registered care homes in the London Borough of Barnet from December 2020 to February 2021, followed by directly calling care homes to speak with residents, to gain insight into residents’ experiences and received 129 responses. The surveys were completed by residents or on behalf of residents by their family.

More than four in five respondents had been provided information on how to stay safe during the pandemic, such as handwashing and social distancing, for themselves and their relatives by the care home.

Over seven in ten respondents had been offered COVID-19 testing mostly on a monthly and weekly basis.

Over three quarters of respondents indicated care home staff always used appropriate PPE when providing care, although 62% of respondents stated they were provided PPE for personal use in shared spaces.

Respondents have had issues in accessing healthcare services with 23% of respondents stating an impact in accessing their GP and 29% respondents stating that the pandemic affected their access to a dentist.

Almost 50% of respondents stated that their mental health and wellbeing had deteriorated, primarily due to a lack of social interaction causing isolation and depression

Over a third of respondents stated that their physical health had deteriorated due to factors such as reduced access to healthcare services and physical wellbeing activities, including maintaining relationships with family and friends.

 The restriction on visits from loved ones has been distressing for respondents. Care homes created alternative methods such as video calls, telephones and emails as substitutes for in-person visits however many respondents stated that these were not an adequate substitute to in-person visits.

Respondents overwhelmingly praised their care home staff and stated that the staff had been excellent in providing care during the pandemic.

The report contains four recommendations about allowing visiting, improving activities, and communication with friends and family.

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General details

Report title 
Barnet care home residents experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Barnet
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 27 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 December, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 28 February, 2021
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Health protection
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Staff attitudes

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
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 
Nursing care home
Residential care home

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

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.