Keeping connected during the Covid-19 pandemic

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Hampshire spoke to 4 care homes who previously took part in their review of outstanding homes in April 2020.  They wanted to understand how residents are being supported to be able to communicate and keep connected with their families, friends and the community during the Covid-19 pandemic; and how the homes are keeping families informed about daily life in the home.

Care homes continue to strive to source and develop innovative ideas to keep residents connected with their friends and family. A variety of methods can be utilised to ensure every resident has the opportunity to keep connected. One size does not fit all, and the most successful methods identified in this short piece of work include the following:

  • Utilise skype/zoom/ MS teams, WhatsApp or facetime to enable residents to physically see, and connect with their families.
  • Include relatives and friends in developing ideas for keeping in touch. Methods such as talking photo frames and recorded private YouTube sessions have been created by working collaboratively to create solutions.
  • During activity sessions support residents to write a letter, card, or create a piece of artwork to send in the post with a request that the relative also replies by post.
  • Create links with local groups, such as WI, schools, scouts, brownies etc. and establish a pen pals’ scheme for residents.
  • Hold ‘virtual’ sessions with musicians, and entertainers that would previously visit the home in person. Residents can also attend events such religious services via virtual methods.
  • When staff, or relatives wearing a mask are communicating with a resident, use positive body language, and keep sentences short. Act out the communication where possible to help the resident understand.

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General details

Report title 
Keeping connected during the Covid-19 pandemic
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Hampshire
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 28 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 June, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 30 June, 2021
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
Unstructured Interview
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 
Nursing care home
Residential care home

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
4
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
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Positive

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
No
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? 
Not known

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.