Living life to the full

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch North Tyneside produced a report on how homes provided meaningful activity for residents and what impact these had on people’s mental wellbeing. The report was based on the findings of Enter and View visits made to 31 care homes across North Tyneside in 2015. During the visits Healthwatch representatives spoke to staff, residents, families and friends, looked at the documentation on how each home planned and carried out their activities and observed some of the activities. The report utilises the NICE definition of meaningful activity and the relevant CQC standards to assess homes. The aim of the report is to share good practice and highlight areas where improved practice and quality of life of residents could be achieved locally by actions of commissioners and providers. The report identifies a number of key issues around several key themes: 1. Planning of activities: There was evidence of good practice in planning and tailoring activities, but homes must ensure this is done for all residents and is regularly reviewed and updated. Also care homes do not seem to be operating in line with standards for best practice in how they are evaluating the activities – the approach is not systematic or inclusive enough to capture all residents’ views, and to ensure views are used to improve activity programmes. 2. Engaging and involving residents and relatives: Most homes would benefit from improvements through structuring how they involve residents and relatives in decision making, and using multiple methods rather than relying on one, such as residents’ meetings. 3. Accessibility: There were good examples on supporting people with mobility issues, however homes need to plan more to support people with sensory disability, such as hearing impairment, and mental health conditions to access activities to bring practice into line with quality standards. 4. Availability of meaningful activities: Most care homes have a good variety of group activities on offer to meet a range of needs and can give examples of providing activity to suit an individual resident. Care homes were more comfortable with facilitation of some kinds of activities than others. 5. The role of the Activity Coordinator and a culture of activity in care homes: Where activity was not implemented as part of a ‘whole home approach’ this led to barriers to the provision of activities which could impact the well-being of residents. Examples of good practice identified in the report included: - use of assessment tools tailored for those with dementia; - liaison with occupational and physio therapists for ideas on activity; - forward planning monthly based on feedback sheets. The report makes 9 recommendations for care providers, commissioners and the CQC including: - Homes should develop a whole home approach to providing activity as an essential part of care and at the centre of life in the home. - North Tyneside Council should change their current service level agreements with residential care homes to ensure that each care home has a full time activity coordinator who has or is working towards a recognised qualification. - The CQC should consider strengthening the emphasis on the importance of a culture of activity provision as essential to wellbeing of residents in their inspections.

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General details

Report title 
Living life to the full
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch North Tyneside
Date of publication 
Friday, 1 April, 2016
Type of report 
Key themes 
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Staff training
Other information of note about this report 
Meaningful Activities
Activity Coordinator
Good Practice
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
Not Known

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Nursing care home
Residential care home

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of long term conditions 
Alzheimer’s disease or dementia

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
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? 
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? 
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.