Home care in Barnet: a report on the experiences of local home carers and home agencies

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Barnet have sought the views of home care agency managers and home carers. The aim was to paint a more comprehensive picture of the experiences and challenges around delivering home care services locally. Overall, Healthwatch Barnet interviewed six home care agency managers and 46 home carers. Through this research it emerged that: The number of people requiring home care locally is increasing, however there is a lack of home carers to meet this demand; recruiting and retaining home carers is challenging, which was often attributed to low pay; low rates of pay (wages and for travel) were a recurring issue for home carers; specifications set out by commissioners make it hard to maintain continuity of home carers and provide quality care as well as to deliver person-centred care; home care agencies and home carers both agreed that home care and hence home carers are undervalued; home carers received a wide range of training and supervision from their agencies; home care agencies carry out regular checks on home carers and ask service users for their views on the home care they receive; coordination between NHS and social care professionals is a challenge. Healthwatch Barnet have developed 12 recommendations to address the key improvements identified in our research. In summary, the findings echo those of Healthwatch Dorset which reported that: “Services need a high quality and stable workforce, rewarded and recognised appropriately for the essential and, at times, demanding work that they do.”

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General details

Report title 
Home care in Barnet: a report on the experiences of local home carers and home agencies
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Barnet
Date of publication 
Thursday, 4 January, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 4 June, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 4 November, 2017
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Continuity of care
Quality of regulation
Quality of staffing
Staff levels
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-7004

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
Survey
How was the information collected? 
Survey
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Home care / domiciliary care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
52
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
No
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
Yes
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Care / support workers
Service manager
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
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
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.