Summary of report content
This report is a summary of all the Enter and View visits to extra care housing undertaken by Healthwatch Salford during the period June to December 2018.
All visits were announced Enter and View visit to the six schemes. The Enter and View visit dates were arranged around when most staff would be available and around tenant meetings and activities. Due to the nature of Extra Care Housing, both the care provider and the housing provider were involved in the Enter and View visit, with staff from both the care and housing provider being surveyed. In total 115 people were surveyed.
Social contact, how well tenants got on with and were supported by staff, communication and responsiveness and the activities provided were often indicators of levels of content / discontent, happiness / unhappiness and of tenants thinking that living in an extra care scheme was of benefit to them and their health and if they felt enabled to stay on at the scheme as their care needs changed. This was consistent no matter if it was a new purpose-built scheme or converted older scheme.
The extra care model lends itself to flexibility in housing different types of people together and in doing so increasing the diversity of those living at the schemes. However, there is still going to be tensions between independent living and a home for life. Adding another factor such as intergenerational housing might impact on this but there are also many potential benefits. It will be interesting to see if future models of Extra Care evolve to include a wider diversity of people being housed and how this new model might be commissioned.
Commissioners should in their contract specification and management be covering areas such as activities and social inclusion more clearly, going beyond just compliance and care, to set standards and manage these crucial but often less prioritised areas of Extra Care housing. The Extra Care housing in Salford enables many to retain some independence, while providing communal and social spaces.
There is a lot of will to succeed and experience across the six schemes and with more community involvement, resources and good practices that retain staff these schemes will be in a better place to develop on their strengths and improve on this model. It is hoped that commissioners will support providers in this and take on the feedback gained from this Enter and View programme and points made in this summary report.
Across the Enter and View visits to the six schemes there were 46 recommendations made, with corresponding responses from the providers.