A review of Social Care in the London Borough of Bromley

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Summary of report content

In 2018, Healthwatch Bromley carried out a research project across the London Borough of Bromley considering the social care needs and experiences of the population. The project focused on accessibility issues, social care assessments, care package provision and quality of care. To collect the data, Healthwatch Bromley developed and disseminated an online survey, held focus groups to capture the views of residents with long term conditions and their carers, and gathered individual patient stories around care pathways. The research found that access to social care services was an issue in Bromley. This consisted of difficulties in contacting services, being kept on hold for long time on the phone, and not hearing back from services following initial contact. Those in receipt of social care reported that they required a more meaningful input into their own assessment, including the involvement of family and carers. Participants felt that the assessment process should be done in a respectful way using clear and accessible language and often mentioned the “snapshot” element to assessments. People said they felt a clearer picture of individual need and capability needed to be established over time. Coordination and consultation with other services during the assessment process would also be beneficial. Residents also expressed a need for more variety both in and outside day centres. It was commented that often care workers played an important role in ensuring people had access to these activities and resources. Consistency of care was an important aspect of service satisfaction. All participants felt that familiarity of a carer or support worker created a sense of safety and empowerment so the use of agency staff was noted as a concern for many. Satisfaction levels were often determined by the quality of service provided by paid carers who support people in their homes. The views were mixed with some people reporting to have excellent carers, whereas others questioned the quality of care. Issues highlighted included: a lack of caring attitude, punctuality, disrespectful tone and treatment, and a lack of sensitivity around issues of mental health. A number of care recipients had long waiting times for their care packages to become effective after their assessment. Also in some instances, recipients felt that after their assessment they were provided with less care than required. It was felt that limited provision put heavy strains on unpaid carers and family members. Based on the findings of the research, Healthwatch Bromley made 9 recommendations that suggested improving access, communication, consistency, and involvement would improve the experience of those using Social Care services. The report and recommendations were sent to the Director of Adult Social Care but no response has been received.

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General details

Report title 
A review of Social Care in the London Borough of Bromley
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bromley
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 27 March, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Consent to care and treatment
Continuity of care
Health inequalities
Holistic support
Information providing
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Adult social care
Day care (social care services)
Home care / domiciliary care
Community services 
Community healthcare and nursing services

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Not known
Types of long term conditions 
Not known
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Mixed / multiple ethnic groups
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
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 
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.