Care home virtual visits report

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Swindon undertook a survey of care homes to understand how they had adapted to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.  They spoke to 7 care home managers and three residents.

Most of the homes that were contacted successfully maintained contact between residents and loved ones in a number of ways, including allowing visits from families in line with social distancing. Examples of good practice included a marquee in the grounds to allow a Covid-secure but private meeting space and access to tablets to have video calls.

Although residents were missing close contacts with their families, care homes lessened the impact by providing more activities, spending more time with residents; maintaining as much contact as possible with families and adapting communication methods for residents with dementia.

Care homes were creative about how they maintained contact with the wider community, including virtual GP calls.

The report sets out the barriers homes and residents experienced and how they got over them.

All care homes involved in the survey that the most important way to offer support was spending time with residents; this was especially vital for residents who might not spend a lot of time out of their room.

Challenges included end of life care, limited family visits, doing everything to protect the residents, support and protection for staff, getting groceries online; closing down day centres and lack of PPE at the start of lockdown.

Learning points from the experience included access to training, more staff, infection control, effectiveness of polices and keeping people informed.

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General details

Report title 
Care home virtual visits report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Swindon
Date of publication 
Friday, 30 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 May, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 30 September, 2020
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health protection
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff training

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
Survey
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

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 
10
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
Yes
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Service manager
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Positive

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
No
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

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.