Supporting independence- Reablement program

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Tower Hamlets interviewed 14 local users of the local authority reablement service. The aim was to get an understanding of their experience of the service: what had worked well; what had not worked so well; and how the service could be improved. The purpose was to provide this information to the Local Authority Health Scrutiny Committee to support their review of the reablement service and to improve the service for residents. The interviews were done on the phone and the questions were based on the interview question guide supplied by The Health Scrutiny Committee. The findings were on four key points: Referral: People were generally referred to the programme by their GP or the hospital. The hospital and physio referrals seem to be appropriate to the aims of the service. Understanding the service: People were asked ‘Do you understand the purpose of reablement?’ and 17% said no and 83% said yes, they did. It was evident from the feedback that the patient’s extensive knowledge of the service was more likely to result in positive feedback and satisfaction. Views of the service: A significant number of patients felt that their ultimate goals were not taken into consideration. 64% found that the reablement service did not help them regain independence. They felt as though the service was beneficial in theory, but not relevant to them. In many cases, these patients were elderly and felt that they needed long-term care rather than independence. Thus, they did not benefit because they were too ill to be independent. Suggested improvements: Responses to this question varied greatly as some patients did not feel as though they were involved in identifying their goals or aims whatsoever, some did. Some patients were aware of how to report any concerns or complaints in relation to any aspect of the care they received from the reablement, whereas some patients suggested a standardised protocol for providing them with information about contacting reablement after the service ends. The report says if people with mental health were going to be referred to this service, then staff should receive training in mental health awareness. Even though people appreciated what the reablement program was trying to achieve, it seemed that there was a mismatch between what service users think the program will do and what the staff are there to do. Gauging what the service aims to do and what the results are at the end it seemed from the report that it needs clarity as to what the patient expects and why they have been referred and what they hope to achieve from it.

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General details

Report title 
Supporting independence- Reablement program
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets
Date of publication 
Thursday, 9 March, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 9 March, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 9 March, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
The Health Scrutiny Committee
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Community services 
Continuing care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
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? 
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 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.