Supported living

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Summary of report content

In 2018, Healthwatch County Durham (HWCD) were approached by the Adult Social Care commissioner at Durham County Council (DCC) with a workplan request for HWCD to consider carrying out some engagement with tenants who live in supported accommodation, where the support provider had been outsourced from DCC to Embracing Care. The aim of the engagement was to see if there had been any changes in the delivery of support since the transfer and to find out if there was anything tenants/carers/family wanted to let us know. Visits took place throughout March 2019.

Out of the 33 supported living schemes in the county, Healthwatch worked with the council to select 9 homes to visit. They spoke to 32 tenants and 1 family member.

Most of the tenants spoken to had found the transfer to the new provider seamless and had not noticed any change in the support provided to them. However a number of tenants did say they felt they had not received enough information prior to and during the transfer to the new provider and they would have liked to have seen the new managers more during the transfer. Although this could not be remedied now, it will be a recommendation for any future change to support providers. There were some tenants who told Healthwatch they felt their aspirations about how they would like to live and carry out daily activities were not being met because of the needs or perceived risks to other tenants in the house. Temporary staff also caused anxiety for a number of the tenants, they felt more comfortable with people they knew and who knew them.  Activities were valued by tenants and it greatly enhanced their everyday experiences. We were told that tenants did not have “key workers” but were supported by the whole staff team in any particular house, one tenant told us she used to have a key worker who no longer worked in the service and she missed her. All the tenants spoken to were confident that they would know who to go to if there was something they were unhappy with. We were told in some of the houses that support hours were shared, so this made it quite difficult to determine whether individuals living in schemes were receiving the support as per their needs assessment. 

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General details

Report title 
Supported living
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sunderland
Date of publication 
Thursday, 15 August, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Health protection
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing
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 
Primary research method used 
Unstructured Interview
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
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 
Assisted living

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
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? 
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.