Support for our most vulnerable people during the COVID-19 situation

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch St Helens carried out research to understand what people living and working in care homes and receiving domiciliary care were experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Healthwatch St Helens spoke to company directors, managers and senior staff by telephone and email. Many senior staff felt that care workers were undervalued and not given the same recognition as other health care professionals. Many also said that communication needed to be clearer and more informative. Communication from hospitals was also poor at times, mainly regarding test results. Many care homes and agencies reported that weekly phone calls from St Helens Council were good as requests for PPE or information could be discussed. The involvement of GPs came under criticism, with some GPs refusing to visit or take calls - however other GPs responded quickly and effectively to requests for appointments for care home residents and staff.

The Fraility Team, Infection Control Team and St Helens Council received high praise in terms of their willingness to help and their quick response times. Managers also mentioned how their staff were willing to take on extra shifts and even change or swap job roles to help. The kindness of people in community was also mentioned throughout.

Based on this work, Healthwatch St Helens made five recommendations that are detailed in the report.

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General details

Report title 
Support for our most vulnerable people during the COVID-19 situation
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch St Helens
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 28 July, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Information providing
Integration of services
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
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

Primary care services 
GP practice
Social care services 
Adult social care
Home care / domiciliary care
Nursing care home
Residential care home

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not known
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if 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 
Care / support workers
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? 
Not applicable
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.