Listening to the voices of employed home carers

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Summary of report content

Between July and October 2020 Healthwatch Oxfordshire carried out a survey aimed at listening to the experiences of people who are paid to care for someone in their home. They wanted to understand the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought into their work: what it has been like keeping themselves and the people they care for safe, and how well supported they have been by the wider health and social care system.

They heard from 39 people.

The overall message from this report is that homecare workers are proud of what they do, want to be valued both in monetary terms and by other professionals, and value more time to provide quality care.

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly caused additional pressures for carers. Including, concern for the wellbeing and safety of their clients, impact on clients regarding isolation, loneliness, carers’ responsibility to keep themselves and clients safe, initial challenges around accessing PPE, and the cost, and additional workloads.

Several recommendations to Commissioners and providers of homecare were made in this report:

  • Conduct an annual survey of paid homecare workers to understand the challenges and successes of this service from the worker perspective.
  • Oxfordshire County Council and any related Industry Body to commission third party research into what would be a fairer formula for working out visit times for both carers and their customers.
  • Work together to promote the role and value of paid homecare workers to the public and within the health and care community.
  • Set the pay rate for homecare workers at the National Living Wage and consider paying the Real Living Wage
  • Ensure that all paid homecare workers have equality of access to PPE.

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General details

Report title 
Listening to the voices of employed home carers
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Oxfordshire
Date of publication 
Monday, 1 March, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 July, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 31 October, 2020
Key themes 
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Other information of note about this report 

Methodology and approach

Primary research method used 

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 
25-64 years
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Care / support workers
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? 

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.