Living in a care home in County Durham: Research into the experience of service users with a learning disability in County Durham

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Summary of report content

This report was written by Healthwatch County Durham following a request from the local authority. The report was published March, 2017 with a set of survey work being completed beforehand. A total of 34 responses were gathered with most completed face to face. Overall sentiment was positive. A set of recommendations is included in the report. No response from related providers is attached, however the report was intended as feedback for the local authority to consider based on the experiences of those with learning disabilities in care homes. Summary of recommendations: Service users really valued the opportunity to be able to contribute and talk about the support they receive and we recommend that Durham County Council embed service user engagement to their review processes giving opportunities for all service users to be heard. Support providers should be encouraged by commissioners to share best practice in relation to service users accessing interesting and varied leisure and recreational activities which meet their needs, interests and aspirations. Support providers should be encouraged to utilise mainstream facilities and investigate whether there are befriending opportunities in their locality. Commissioners should link with care coordination teams to ensure the commissioned services are meeting the leisure and activity needs of individuals, as this contributes to their health and wellbeing. Commissioners should ensure leisure and activities are integral to their contract monitoring procedures.

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General details

Report title 
Living in a care home in County Durham: Research into the experience of service users with a learning disability in County Durham
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch County Durham
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 1 March, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 23 January, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 16 February, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Quality of treatment
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Local Council
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Residential care home

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of long term conditions 
Learning disability

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Service manager
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.