Listening to care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic - a follow up reportDownload (PDF 535KB)
Summary of report content
This report from Healthwatch Oxfordshire is based on the findings of a follow up survey they carried out in care homes in October 2020. Their aim was to find out how things were, what had improved, and what the evolving challenges and pressures were ahead of the winter months. They had previously done similar research in March 2020, during the first few weeks of lockdown, and the report contains Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust’s response to their earlier recommendations.
The key findings are:
- Care home management and staff were working as hard as they could, in many new and creative ways, to keep residents safe, while enabling them to exercise, socialise and keep in touch with their families and the outside world. The most common approaches were the use of telephone and video calls, which, of 33 homes, were offered by 31 and 32 of them respectively.
- While the majority care homes said that the current arrangements are sustainable, some felt that they had no choice as they needed to be sustainable.
- The morale of residents and staff in care homes had largely stayed the same or improved. Comments reflected that better access to adequate PPE and testing, and the flow of information and guidance had helped.
- The vast majority of homes indicated they felt both prepared and supported heading into the winter months – the support was largely felt from within the care home itself. However, three felt they were not at all supported – reasons included lack of access to adequate and affordable PPE, surprise visits from the government to check their preparedness and feeling they’ll be blamed if anything goes wrong.
- Most care homes felt that access to services had stayed the same. Dentistry, spiritual/ pastoral care, and hospital appointments were rated much worse.
- Some care homes raised concerns about visits from health professionals, who were not being tested for COVID-19 despite some of them being in close contact and treating people who had been infected with COVID-19.