Summary of report content
Healthwatch Leeds Over the period July to September 2020, we ran a survey to find out how care home staff felt things had been going since the pandemic began. We wanted to know what they thought had gone well and what had not gone so well at the care homes where they worked. We also asked them if they had any suggestions about how to make things better now and in the future for care home staff, residents and relatives. They received 117 responses.
Staff felt that teamwork had been exceptional during the pandemic – they had gone above and beyond the call of duty to deliver quality care in challenging circumstances. They felt that PPE provision and good infection control measures contributed to the safety of residents and staff working in care homes.
Good communication and support from management was important, particularly when they acted swiftly. Other positive elements mentioned by respondents were staff working hard to keep people safe when outbreaks occurred, training and support received from outside external organisations and a minimal loss of life.
Respondents also mentioned things that could be improved. Better access to Covid testing was a key theme, along with clearer guidance and quicker access to PPE. People felt that care workers should be given more recognition to improve staff morale, including an increase in pay.
Respondents were keen to emphasize the importance of care homes learning from their experience of the pandemic.
The report concludes with four key learning points, about including workers in the learning process, the need to celebrate care workers, sharing good practice about managers who have supported their staff well and integrating care homes better into the wider health and care system.