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.