Independent Review of the support needs of residents living at Kendal Court, Newhaven, 2018Download (PDF 395KB)
Summary of report content
Brighton and Hove City Council commissioned Healthwatch East Sussex to undertake an independent review of the support needs of residents placed at Kendal Court in Newhaven during October and December 2018, following a number of deaths at Kendal Court in the preceding months. Kendal Court is leased by the local authority for use as emergency or temporary accommodation for people who otherwise would be homeless. A total of 29 residents were interviewed face to face or by telephone, 72.5% of the median occupancy rate of 40 flats.
There were residents who had positive experiences of living at Kendal Court. Many were glad to have moved to Newhaven and be out of Brighton. They saw Kendal Court as a ‘new start’ to organising their lives. These were mainly individuals who organised themselves, could prioritise and self-manage their day to day routines. A greater ratio of residents that would be better suited to living here may possibly reduce the problems and reputation of Kendal Court. Residents with a multiplicity of complex health and social care needs, particularly mental health, already have challenges that mean any placement would be difficult for them. Isolation from support services and poor daily living facilities were more often mentioned as a failing, not the flats themselves.
Difficult access to laundry facilities is a major barrier to residents organising and regulating their lives. Having no facilities at Kendal Court or even in Newhaven mitigates the safe care aspired to and encouraged in most of this resident group.
The lack of an out-of-hours emergency contact was a common concern for residents, the caretaker himself and interviewers. Having a caretaker is a key component to the experience of those who were positive about living at KC. The present incumbent has no training or support for the role and position he often finds himself in.
With the current mix of residents, additional support was reported consistently as being needed. A majority of residents wanted more holistic guidance and clear signposting to relevant services and additional support to attend meetings and appointments. Vulnerable residents who have a key worker or support from friends and family networks appeared to have better experiences of living in Kendal Court; they are more resilient in coping with the travelling to and from Brighton to maintain access their preferred services and services only available there. With difficult and expensive journeys to their fractured support services, living at Kendal Court often means there are more barriers to residents trying to manage their lives.
Potential and actual safeguarding issues were apparent on most occasions Kendal Court was visited by the experienced interviewers. Inadequate assessment of needs and inappropriate placement of some residents mean they become vulnerable and at risk by their very allocation to Kendal Court.
Getting residents to participate in the survey was extremely difficult but not surprising in this client group. We believe some residents chose not to answer their door. Residents and interviewers consider spy holes and security chains on the doors would reduce a reluctance to answer callers and help residents feel safer in their flats at all times.