Summary of report content
Healthwatch Derbyshire undertook research into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the staff and residents of care homes and their relatives. They developed a survey to which 90 people responded during the period 26 October to 16 November 2020. . Additional internet-based research was conducted by examining the websites and public Facebook pages of local care homes to highlight good practice currently taking place, and share this with both commissioners and providers of services.
Feedback received identified five key areas; these are detailed in the following sections of the report:
1. Care home visiting – to be maintained, by all means possible, to ensure the physical and mental wellbeing of both residents and their loved ones.
2. Contact between residents and their family and friends – is essential to maintain personal relationships. Guidance, policies and procedures should be in place to support care homes to ensure this is provided in a personalised way, providing reasonable adjustments where appropriate.
3. Communication between care homes and their residents’ family and friends – is vital in ensuring families are kept informed about current regulations and updated about the welfare of their loved ones. Some care homes have been successful by introducing a wide range of methods to keep families updated whereas others may need help and support to do this. Guidance, policies and procedures should be in place to support care homes to ensure this is provided in a personalised and standardised way.
4. The wellbeing of care home residents – is the cornerstone of good quality care. We have shared many examples of how this has been achieved. However, there will be further examples that we are not aware of.
5. Recognition of the dedication of the care home staff - care home staff have worked tirelessly, and made many sacrifices, to ensure the safety and happiness of their residents during the pandemic and should be highly commended for this.
Recommendations included considering the suggestions for improvements made within the report and make a minimum of ten pledges to help improve the experience of residents and their relatives and friends under the current conditions.