Healthwatch survey finds quality of ‘care at home’ services inconsistent

Although the majority of people rated their care highly, with many positive comments about the attitude of care staff, there were inconsistencies with the care. OnTheWight has details of the recommendations from Healthwatch Isle of Wight.

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Nikki shares this latest news from Isle of Wight Health Watch. Ed


Care at home services are an essential part of ensuing people can live safe and independent lives in their own home. It is generally accepted that it is difficult to gather feedback on the quality of care at homes services as care is delivered in peoples own homes, often by one or two members of staff at a time and this care is more difficult to observe.

With this in mind, Healthwatch Isle of Wight developed a survey, covering topics identified from national reports and through analysis of the public’s feedback to Healthwatch. 180 people responded – predominantly users of care at home services – most other people who completed the survey were family members of care recipients.

‘Care at home: Experiences of people who use services’
The Healthwatch Isle of Wight report ‘Care at home: Experiences of people who use services’, found that overall, the majority of people rated their care highly, with many positive comments about the attitude of care staff and help from individual members of the IOW Council’s social care team.

However, timings of care visits stood out as a particular concern, including for a number of people who were otherwise satisfied. Impact was felt most keenly when times of meals became irregular, when timing of personal care led to a disrupted routine, or unpredictability of visits meant that involvement in community activities had to be curtailed.

The length of visits was also an issue, with concern expressed that less care was sometimes being received than had been paid for.

Particular issues around communication were found, with some people feeling rushed and others feeling that there was a significant lack of awareness of how to support someone with dementia.

Recommendations to IWC and CCG
As a result of the findings contained in the report, Healthwatch Isle of Wight have made four recommendations to the Isle of Wight Council and the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group.

These include greater access to support for people who fund their own care, the need for specialised training on communication and supporting people with dementia, and the need for quality standards of providers to be able to be rated by recipients of care.

Response from CCG and IWC
In response to the report the IOW Clinical Commissioning Group state that:

We value the contribution that the report makes in taking note of people’s experiences of Care at Home including highlighting good practice and improvement that is necessary, so people in receipt of this care have a positive experience. We are committed to sharing good practice and the report provides valuable insight into people’s experiences, providing recommendations which can support future improvements.

The Isle of Wight Council have produced a comprehensive action plan detailing how they will meet our recommendations and include the following:

  • Creating a protocol to support those who fund their own care
  • Development of a brokerage service to help people who fund their own care
  • Development of an enhanced process to capture feedback from people who use care at home services
  • Provision of accessible information sheets on social care services and fees
  • Development of a dementia training pathway through MLAFL

Joanna Smithm Healthwatch Manager, said,

“Healthwatch is looking forward to working closely with the IOW Council and Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure that all recommendations made within the report are met and sustained. We firmly believe that all people who receive care at home services deserve an excellent standard of care and are entitled to receive a service which is tailored to meet individual needs.”

The report ‘Care at home: Experiences of people who use services,` which officially launches today is available by visiting the Website.

Healthwatch would like to thank everyone who took part in the survey and contributed to the report.

The report
Click on the full screen icon to see larger version.


Friday, 17th March, 2017 11:10am

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Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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