Enter and view: Altham Meadows

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Lancashire gather information on people’s experiences of health and social care services and there are times when it is appropriate for Healthwatch Lancashire to see and hear for themselves how services are being delivered: these visits are called ‘Enter and View’, they are not inspections. Healthwatch Lancashire visited Altham Meadows on Wednesday 18th April 2018. The key findings highlighted areas in relation to patient feedback, staff feedback and observation. The report informs Healthwatch Lancashire chose to visit Altham Meadows to review what one staff member described as “one of the first fully integrated health and social care units in Lancaster and Morecambe.” The facility hosts an integrated provision of short term health and social care for clients discharged from hospital (or at risk of admission) but requiring temporary residential support, alongside an assessment and rehabilitation centre. Being newly refurbished the environment was very clean and attractively decorated with some homely furnishings. However, representatives heard two people in the lounge area requesting support with cushions, the area manager explaining later that soft furnishings were limited due to infection control measures. Healthwatch Lancashire found that the atmosphere was very pleasant and well-ordered, social care staff told them that they felt professionalised working alongside NHS staff and valued the training they received. They also told Healthwatch Lancashire that they enjoyed their contribution to the client journey, assisting recovery and achieving positive outcomes for service users. NHS staff spoke of the facility as an opportunity to “wrap care around the patient”. Clients told Healthwatch Lancashire that they regarded their stay at Altham Meadows as a positive milestone towards their return home They also told us that they enjoyed the companionship of clients in the same circumstances and stage of the recovery process as opposed to the generic hospital ward. Client feedback in respect of food was generally negative. The registered manager told Healthwatch Lancashire that this was outsourced and satisfied all nutritional requirements. However, Healthwatch Lancashire observed that clients had the opportunity to have food brought in from home or from their usual home provider for example Wiltshire Foods. Representatives identified parking problems at the facility due to the number of Assessment Centre visitors and attending professionals. Representatives considered that this may have made it difficult for visitors to the residential facility, but the area manager told Healthwatch Lancashire that plans were in hand for a further eighteen car parking places. External signage too was less than clear and needed updating as did the public information available on the internet. All the clients Healthwatch Lancashire spoke to said they preferred their stay at Altham Meadows compared to their stay on a hospital ward. Feedback from both social care staff and NHS staff was extremely positive. One staff member describing the facility as “brilliant” and being a “good example of integrated working between health and social care”.

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General details

Report title 
Enter and view: Altham Meadows
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Lancashire
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
Type of report 
Enter and view
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Food and nutrition
Information providing
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Inpatient care
Social care services 
Adult social care
After care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not known
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Does the information include other people's 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? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.