Care for me at home

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Bexley conducted a qualitative exploration of the experiences and feelings of people receiving domiciliary care in the borough. The team conducted semi-structured interviews with 26 participants who were recipients of home care between May and September 2015. Nine of the interviews were conducted with a recipient’s relative or carer present or responding on behalf of them. The report’s findings were generally positive. Recipients of domiciliary care were found to be 'very satisfied' or 'satisfied' with their care, with most reporting positive experiences of their care, particularly with the interactions with care staff. The care provided at home also aided with boosting the participants self-esteem and allowed them to engage in meaningful activities However, some concerns were raised. Improved communication and continuity of care were highlighted as needing attention. While most felt that the care they received covered basic needs, they reported unmet social, emotional and rehabilitation needs which impacted their quality of life. For example, some recipients identified a need for greater choice in the organisation of their care, increased interactions and greater consistency of carers to support them. Many reported experiences of unreliable staff with poor time keeping, irregular, and infrequent duration of care worker visits. Additionally, issues of social isolation were raised by the participants. Many were receiving care for restricted mobility and some suggested that the basic mobility equipment for their care, and the lack of suitable and regular transport options, were not enough to enable them to continue to engage with existing social networks. This often resulted in feelings of loneliness and social isolation. The report made a number of recommendations to improve the experiences of people receiving domiciliary care including; facilitating access to community networks to reduce isolation, to maintain high monitoring standards, facilitate improved recipient choice of type and level of care, improve information on other services, such as voluntary or privately funded services, ensure that the transitions from hospital to home care are smooth and that there is effective communication and continuity of care. The report also recommended that further research and development in domiciliary care is needed. The report did not include a response from the service provider.

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General details

Report title 
Care for me at home
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bexley
Date of publication 
Monday, 12 January, 2015
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 May, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 30 September, 2015
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Consent to care and treatment
Continuity of care
Discharge
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Support
Other information of note about this report 
Meaningful Activities
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-5422

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 
Consultation Responses

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Adult social care
Home care / domiciliary care

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Memory
Mental health
Mobility
Long term condition
Types of long term conditions 
Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
Heart disease
Learning disability

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
26
Other population characteristics 
People with limited family or social networks
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Yes
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No

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.