Summary of report content
Healthwatch Bucks undertook research with care home workers about the impact of changes in guidance to care homes during the first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic. They received 169 responses to a survey during the period 23rd June to 17th August.
Many staff were frustrated with the time it took to get COVID-19 tests and then to get the results. Only 14% of respondents, but 49% of colleagues and residents, said they were diagnosed or suspected they had COVID-19. Four in five respondents said they could not get a COVID-19 test for themselves. However, they said 44% of their colleagues and 55% of their residents had obtained a test within a week.
Over 80% of staff had sufficient soap and / or hand sanitiser and PPE. Four in five staff felt they had sufficient training about COVID-19 and changes to procedures. Over three quarters said they felt able to raise any concerns they had. Four in five said they felt the care home supported them to maintain good mental health. Nearly three in five respondents said there were sufficient staff. A further 32% said there were sufficient staff most of the time.
Nearly two thirds of respondents said residents were restricted in where they could go in the home. Just over half said residents were understanding about this. However, 58% told us that some residents' behaviour became more challenging, demonstrating their frustration. Nearly four in five respondents said the care home’s usual activities had to stop. Nearly three in five said residents were understanding about this. Over four in five of respondents kept residents informed verbally about the coronavirus outbreak and what was going on in the home as things changed.
Nearly four in five staff said residents were not allowed visitors from 16th March to 31st May. Of those who said visitors could come to the home, only 76% (16/21) said visitors, in March, could visit a relative who was at the end of their life. In May, this increased to 86%. For other residents who were not at end of life, they said no visitors were permitted in March or April. In May, this increased to 64% (9/14). Instead of visits, most people used video calls and phone to keep in contact with their loved ones. Nearly three in five staff said residents had enjoyed the experience. + However, 38% of staff told us that residents found the new ways of keeping in touch frustrating, particularly around technology. 36% found them upsetting.
The report contains a number of recommendations aimed at the local Integrated Care Partnership , Buckinghamshire Council and care home providers.