Healthwatch WAM brings independent evidence and a different insight into these discussions and decisions. Recently any feedback received by Healthwatch WAM has not been specific about Carewatch but about domiciliary care in general; flexibility and length of time of care visits and communication – particularly to unpaid carers.
Summary of the findings;
- A significant proportion of the respondents (on average a third) are unhappy with the continuity of staff providing their care and support, staff's understanding of their health and support needs and being treated like an individual.
- Although the majority of people know who to contact if they additional support for their health and wellbeing, a third of unpaid carers/relatives do not feel supported by the care team or know where to go to get independent support.
- The survey results and additional comments indicate serious problems with care and support visits including timings, lateness and inflexibility and also serious problems with communication including response to complaints and concerns raised (although there was a high level of awareness about how to make a complaint or raise a concern). At least 25% of respondents did not have a copy of the care plan in their home.
- Additional comments highlighted some areas of serious concern that need to be addressed immediately (again, this reinforces the findings of the CQC report) including medication errors, not keeping accurate medication records, neglect of personal care and missed calls.
- Several comments indicate a serious lack of a person-centred approach to care and support and not respecting a person's right to choice and dignity and respect for their home and possessions.
- An additional comment and a survey that had not been completed indicate that Carewatch subcontract to other care agencies.
- The comments also indicate issues with language –both limited understanding and speaking of English but also carers communicating in a language not understood by the person receiving support and doing this 'over' them leaving them feeling ignored and not listened too.
- Feedback on the survey design indicated it would be useful not to just have yes/no options (Healthwatch have used a ratings scale on previous surveys but removed this after feedback about simplifying surveys to encourage more response)
- Regular staff appear to have much better feedback from the people who receive support and their unpaid carers/relatives.
- A social care manager (RBWM/Optalis) received positive comments about their support in helping a family raise their concerns and complaints.
- At least two respondents indicated that recently there had been some improvements.
The Local Authority commented "Like all providers of social care support, Carewatch are subject to regulation by the Care Quality Commission which involves regular inspections. As a result of the inspection in Summer, the borough asked Healthwatch WAM to undertake a survey of people supported by Carewatch in September. The findings have been used to support the provider to improve the services to our residents. Since the inspection was undertaken improvements have been made by the provider and we will continue to monitor and support Carewatch."
Healthwatch WAM would like to hear from people who use Carewatch in the coming months so we can monitor if there are improvements being made. If anyone has a serious concern, that could impact people's safety, they should also contact their Care Manager immediately. If people feel their concerns and complaints are not addressed please let us know.