Residents, friends, and relatives experiences of care homes during the COVID 19 pandemic

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Summary of report content

In total, Healthwatch Cheshire West, and Healthwatch Cheshire  received 829 responses to our surveys relating to 102 care homes across Cheshire

Overview of findings across Cheshire

  • Staff going above and beyond for residents, with praise for their dedication and adaptability. People feel residents’ safety has been put first, but it has been a challenging time, and they will be glad to resume normal visitation and activities again.
  • People feel safe, their environment is clean and personalised. Residents feel a sense of belonging and the majority felt well cared for.
  • There was a mixed response regarding communication. Whilst some residents and families felt they have been kept informed of changes occurring in the Care Home, others reported that this was not always the case.
  • Residents and their friends/relatives told us they don't know who their GP is, or that they are hesitant to engage with them as they have been moved away from the GP they had previously.
  • People have been able to have access to devices e.g. phones/tablets to maintain contact with family and friends. However, it is not always efficient as it requires support to be available and isn’t preferable for everyone. Difficult not having visits from friends and family.
  • Residents have felt somewhat segregated from their friends and family both inside and outside the home, but they understand why this is happening. They have particularly missed outside entertainment, visitation and exercise internally and with family. This was also affected by poor weather.
  • The vast majority of people enjoy the food that they are offered, however some feel there could be improvements made in the quality and variety of food that they're offered, with particular attention to personalisation and special dietary requirements.
  • Challenges for staff, including visiting restrictions, staff testing, sickness, and COVID-19 outbreaks.

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General details

Report title 
Residents, friends, and relatives experiences of care homes during the COVID 19 pandemic
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cheshire East
Healthwatch Cheshire West and Chester
Date of publication 
Monday, 26 July, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 November, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 31 March, 2021
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care

Methodology and approach

Primary research method used 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Residential care home

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative'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? 

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.