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.