Working with our most vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreakDownload (PDF 1.33MB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch St Helens felt it was important to understand what people living and working in nursing/care/residential homes and receiving domiciliary care were experiencing during the Covid-19 pandemic. They spoke to senior staff at 40 care homes and care agencies.
Senior staff felt that care workers were undervalued and not given the same recognition as other health care professionals. They felt that communication could have been clearer and more informative.
Contact Cares was mentioned several times throughout this piece of work. The issue always the same, difficulty in making contact. The involvement of GPs also came under criticism, with some GPs refusing to visit, or indeed, take calls.
The Frailty 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, cancel annual leave and even change or swap job roles to help out.
Finally, they appreciated the kindness of local people and businesses in donating food and making face masks.
The report includes five recommendations including access to mobile testing, remote GP consultations, introduction of a regional care bank and support for the mental health of staff.
The report includes a response from the local authority, which sets out the changes they intend to make in light of the recommendations.