Independent survey on Carewatch domiciliary care provision

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead (WAM) is the local independent consumer champion of health and social care services. One of its functions is to collect feedback on local services. Since November 2017 Healthwatch WAM has been a part of the local authority’s Care Governance Board. This board, which comprises senior local authority officers, Optalis staff and representation from the East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, monitors the quality of the social care provision commissioned by the local authority. The board can enforce action on providers to improve quality, prevent further placements at underperforming providers and liaises with other agencies, such as the Care Quality Commission, to ensure social care provision is safe and effective. Healthwatch WAM brings independent evidence and a different insight into these discussions and decisions. Recently any feedback received by Healthwatch WAM has not been specific about Carewatch but about domiciliary care in general; flexibility and length of time of care visits and communication – particularly to unpaid carers. Concerns about Carewatch provision were raised at the Care Governance Board by the local authority/Optalis. Healthwatch WAM offered to undertake an independent survey of Carewatch clients and their unpaid carers (family etc.) to seek reassurance they were happy with their care and support. Due to data protection regulations, the local authority cannot identify or disclose personal information about clients of Carewatch directly to WAM. It was therefore agreed that the survey, a covering letter and a freepost return envelope would be sent out by Optalis. 115 surveys were sent out; 25 surveys were returned. Of these two was not included in the results as one respondent identified their care provider as Kareplus and did not complete the survey and another stated they were now in a care home. One survey was sent out to someone who passed away in January 2018, but their relative completed and shared their experiences so were included. The survey comprised of nine statements which respondents were asked to agree or disagree with, a box for additional comments about the care received and a question about who completed the survey. During the period this survey was in progress the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a report (25th October 2018) from a visit in June 2018. The survey results appear to reinforce the findings of this report. A significant proportion of the respondents (on average a third) are unhappy with the continuity of staff providing their care and support, staff’s understanding of their health and support needs and being treated like an individual. Although the majority of people know who to contact if they additional support for their health and wellbeing, a third of unpaid carers/relatives do not feel supported by the care team or know where to go to get independent support. The survey results and additional comments indicate serious problems with care and support visits including timings, lateness and inflexibility and also serious problems with communication including response to complaints and concerns raised (although there was a high level of awareness about how to make a complaint or raise a concern). At least 25% of respondents did not have a copy of the care plan in their home. Additional comments highlighted some areas of serious concern that need to be addressed immediately (again, this reinforces the findings of the CQC report) including medication errors, not keeping accurate medication records, neglect of personal care and missed calls. The report contains 4 recommendation, but does not include a formal response from the provider.

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General details

Report title 
Independent survey on Carewatch domiciliary care provision
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Windsor, Ascot & Maidenhead
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 2 January, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 2 January, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 2 January, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Quality of care
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Other local body
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council Care Governance Board
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

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 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not 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.