Summary of report content
Since July, Healthwatch Hull has been contacting Domiciliary Care services in Hull to obtain their views and experiences so we can build an understanding of the impact coronavirus has had on their services.
Healthwatch developed a questionnaire and contacted a total of 13 Domiciliary Care services to ask for their views and experiences, with 10 responses received.
Every Domiciliary Care service Healthwatch Hull engaged with had some kind of issue with PPE, whether that be availability or cost. Two services we spoke to identified that service users had tested positive; one service had two service users pass away with COVID-19 on their death certificate and another had a service user who did not receive the result until after they were discharged and returned home. Services also found that some guidance were initially not clear enough and the sudden changes, both on a national level (PM Conferences) and local level was not helpful and prior notice would have been beneficial.
A number of Domiciliary Care services had to develop new processes or ways of working to ensure that their service ran as smoothly as possible. Most of these new processes revolved around sourcing, monitoring and ordering PPE supplies however one service developed an app for their staff which was updated whenever guidance changed and provided a means for their staff to feed into the organisation if they had any issues.
Some Domiciliary Care services reviewed how they operate to reduce risk of transmission; in agreeance with service users, one service reduced the number of visits they received while another service had the same carers attend each visit. Other services incorporated the use of technology and enabled homeworking where possible to avoid carers having to come into the office and also as a means to recruit and maintain regular contact with staff.
The biggest source of support identified for Domiciliary Care services during the pandemic was the COVID-19 Team who assisted in sourcing and paying for PPE, arranged for emergency PPE deliveries and guidance when it was needed. Services also praised their staff as mentioned in the previous section who have worked hard throughout to meet the needs of service users.