Summary of report content
Covid-19 has affected health and care services across the country with care homes being significantly affected. With no face-to-face interaction due to the Coronavirus, there has and will continue to be, a strong reliance on virtual access and engagement. In the light of this, it is important that relevant and up-to-date information can be found on websites so people can make informed decisions about their own or loved ones’ care.
Two Healthwatch Bolton (HWB) volunteers, with support from staff, undertook a website review of 57 adult care homes, with and without nursing care, to ascertain whether their online information is both relevant and up to date in relation to the coronavirus pandemic .
The review covers the period from 18th December 2020 to the 31st January 2021. This website review also accessed Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection reports to obtain and/or cross reference information that was not readily available on individual care home’s website or on www.carehome.co.uk.
Most care homes don’t have their own website and/or have a Facebook page. However, they do feature on the Carehome.co.uk website. Healthwatch Bolton found the Carehome.co.uk website to be very easy to navigate and informative – on many levels and to be very useful for obtaining holistic information about Bolton care homes. A wealth of information was also available on the Carehome.co.uk website about other aspects of choosing care.
There are care homes that have a website and do keep their information up-to-date and relevant.
Where information was not readily available, CQC reports were used to obtain in-depth information about a care home, such as accessing the details of the Registered Manager (and Nominated Individual).
Overall, information about a care home’s specialisms was easy to find. However, just under half of the care homes publicised what activities are on offer.
Less than half of care homes informed residents, their family, and friends how they can give a compliment or make a complaint. None of the care homes had a link to Healthwatch.
All care homes:
- should make their compliments and complaints policies accessible;
- should clearly display what activities they have on offer;
- should have a presence on Carehome.co.uk website.
Healthwatch Network to consider approaching Healthwatch England regarding having a link on the Carehome.co.uk website.
Care homes with a website and/or Facebook page:
- should make clear how people can give compliments, make complaints, or raise concerns.
- should consider having a link to Healthwatch Bolton (www.healthwatchbolton.co.uk)
- should have a link on their website to the Carehome.co.uk website.
- will engage with care homes (contracted to the Local Authority) by sending each care home information to let them know who we are, what we do and how we can offer advice and guidance on health and social care matters, to residents, their family, and friends.