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.