Care Homes, Covid-19 and beyond

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Summary of report content

In September 2020 it was widely reported that people who were living in care homes during lockdowns had struggled to keep in touch with their loved ones, as visiting restrictions were in place to protect the most vulnerable from infection.

Healthwatch Northumberland responded by asking for feedback from people whose loved ones were in care homes in Northumberland. They hosted a series of online forums which took place in November 2020, January 2021, March 2021, and June 2021. Healthwatch Northumberland had 26 attendees across these four forums.

The aim of the two surveys was to get additional information from relatives and care home staff as to what in-person visits were able to be facilitated across care homes in Northumberland, what other methods of keeping in touch had been used and had been particularly useful or well received and what barriers, if any, there were in using virtual methods of contact.

Healthwatch Northumberland also asked what methods of communication people would like to see moving out of the pandemic once restrictions were eased and asked for feedback on activities within the home, any barriers and what people would like to see post Covid-19.

Along with the feedback received in the online forums and from other means such as individual feedback by telephone and email, Healthwatch Northumberland have summarised the main issues that arose, in this report. They have outlined the resulting recommendations for care home providers.

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General details

Report title 
Care Homes, Covid-19 and beyond
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Northumberland
Date of publication 
Friday, 10 September, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 November, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 30 June, 2021
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Health inequalities
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Primary research method used 
Engagement event

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Residential care home

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 

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.