Home care: Stories from service users

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Summary of report content

This is a collection of user stories, told in their own words, as a snapshot of what it is like for them receiving care and support. Homecare services in Islington were receiving negative publicity and after initial interviews in 2013, Healthwatch Islington decided to work with two of the three local agencies to whom the services were recommissioned in 2014 to talk to residents receiving council funded home care services. This came with some requirements by the council to the potential contractors to pay the London Living Wage, make contribution towards travel time and sign up to the Unison Ethical Care Charter. Although Healthwatch made sure the interviews were led by the participants so they can talk about what is important to them HW prompted them on points pertinent to the discussion with the council. These areas were; whether paid carers came on time and stayed for the full amount of time, whether respondents felt safe or knew what to do if they did not feel safe, whether respondents knew about the complaints process. There was a sense from service user responses that whilst service users and their family carers were grateful for services, services need to be more personalised. There was frustration from both users and family carers and in some cases a feeling of helplessness about how to resolve problems, with the power all being in the hands of providers. There was also praise for carers. Where services were delivered well this clearly had a very positive impact on those receiving care. Healthwatch Islington interviewed 11 service users.

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General details

Report title 
Home care: Stories from service users
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Islington
Date of publication 
Friday, 22 July, 2016
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 22 July, 2016
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 22 July, 2016
Type of report 
Key themes 
Quality of care
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Adult social care
Home care / domiciliary care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people over the age of 65
Specific ethnicity if 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? 
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? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.