Summary of report content
Healthwatch Salford undertook an enter and view visit to Mount Carmel Court, an extra care housing scheme. These are self-contained flats within a communal housing scheme that enable older people over 55, and others who require extra support, to continue to live independently with flexible support and the security of 24/7 emergency response and care from on-site staff.
- Retail Trust housing staff are responsible for activities in the scheme and they provide this during the week, as well as trying to organise outside activities and trips. Their agreement is that they must provide two health related activities a week.
- Moores House arrange themed parties around Easter and Christmas and other dates and some of the other activities mentioned were: Coffee mornings; Games and quizzes and Arts and crafts
- Moores House encourages tenants to organise their own activities but due to the high dependency level they have not had much interest in this. People tend to do their own thing on weekends, especially Sundays and this is when a lot of family visit. All the tenants we spoke to, except for one, all joined in with activities and seemed pleased with what was organised and that they could pick and choose.
- Most tenants expressed that they were happy at the scheme, that their care needs were being met and that living at the scheme had been of benefit to them and their health. They also seemed quite happy with staff, some even going on to say how much fun and interaction they had with some of the housing and care staff.
- About half of tenants we spoke to attended tenant meetings and many expressed positive comments when asked about feedback and communication.
- Relatives did think to a certain extent that their family member living in an Extra Care scheme enabled their independence when asked but also spoke of care staff being busy. One relative went onto say that this meant care staff ‘did’ rather than ‘asked’.
- Some care staff reported having enough time to care and being happy in their work, but others did not think they had enough time and spoke of being too busy, a high staff turnover and morale issues. Although the tenants we spoke to felt like their care needs were being met, relatives and some care staff mentioned that they felt this was not the case for everyone. Extra care is crucial to supporting people to retain some level of independence, especially for those tenants more reliant on carers, and if those carers get too busy and start rushing this can negatively impact on the tenant’s that are least able to do things for themselves.
Recommendations – both
- Senior management at the housing and care providers should put time and effort in developing a relationship between both organisations and encourage staff to work closely together
Recommendations – care provider
- Comfort Call’s area management conduct a confidential and independent review with all care staff about their roles, support needs and concerns.
- The care provider should sensitively explain its policy in relation to privacy and confidentiality to both staff and tenants
- The care provider should review staffing hours, duties, rotas and conditions to resolve the discontent and staffing issues.
There is a detailed response to the recommendations from both the care and housing providers.