The impact of Covid-19 on South Tyneside Care homes

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch South Tyneside commissioned a research agency to gather insights into the pandemic’s effect on the emotional wellbeing of those residing in care homes in South Tyneside.

They surveyed care home staff and relatives and friends of care home residents and found that it had been an extremely difficult year for them. The mental and physical impacts of the pandemic were definite and tangible, evidenced by both staff and relatives’ accounts.

The greatest effects on residents had been seen in the deterioration of mental state, particularly for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and an increase in loneliness. ‘COVID-safe’ visits and activities had gone some way towards mitigating these impacts, but clearly nothing could completely substitute regular close contact with loved ones.

In the absence of ‘normal’ visiting, communication had become more important than ever this past year, and although most staff felt the level and quality of care home communication had been good, a proportion of relatives felt it needed some improvement.

Overall, staff felt they had tried their best and done a good job. Most relatives agreed, although there was generally a discrepancy in the level of positivity between staff and relatives when reflecting on the way the challenges of the pandemic had been handled.

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General details

Report title 
The impact of Covid-19 on South Tyneside Care homes
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch South Tyneside
Date of publication 
Monday, 13 June, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 8 April, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 4 June, 2021
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Engagement
Health protection
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Bluegrass Research
Primary research method used 
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 
Residential care home

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
156
Age group 
25-64 years
Gender 
All
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? 
Yes
Does the information include staff's views? 
Yes
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Administrative
Care / support workers
Service manager
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? 
No
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
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.