Care home families and friend support project during the Covid pandemicDownload (PDF 958KB)
Summary of report content
The Care Home Families & Friend Support Project, a Pan-Sussex Healthwatch project, sought to explore family and friends’ experiences of care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their key findings include:
- Experiences of family/friends during the pandemic significantly varied across care homes, ranging from poor to excellent. While people have valued the efforts many care homes had made to facilitate communication between them and their loved ones, many reported not receiving any communication from care homes or from their relatives which caused frustration and distress.
- There was a significant reduction in contact between family and residents living in care homes during the pandemic- this had substantial impact on their health and wellbeing. Many are now worried how the limited visiting arrangements will be affected during the winter months.
- Digital communication was not possible for all care home residents due to their capacity or health issues, or due to technological issues, and this posed major barriers to communication during the pandemic. This has also raised concerns about the gaps in support as family/friends are unable to visit care homes to provide additional care.
- Family/friends and professionals felt that the Government has failed to provide comprehensive, timely guidance to care homes during COVID-19, and this has had a negative impact on care home provision and their experiences during the pandemic.
The report lists six recommendations for care home providers about how to improve care throughout the pandemic and beyond.