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Visiting Every Care Home

03/07/2018

During the last year we undertook 4 Enter & View visits, and 3 outreach sessions to 6 different care homes. We met with residents, relatives and staff, to tell them about the role of Healthwatch Richmond and listen to any of their concerns about local health and care services.

This brought us to the end of our programme of visiting each care home active within Richmond at least once, whether as an Enter & View or as part of our outreach. We undertook this project to engage residents of care and nursing homes to understand the quality of local homes and to reach a group of people who would otherwise have difficulty having their voice heard. We identified some areas for improvement in each of the homes that we visited and we met some people who were not satisfied with their care.

Overall, however, the quality of care in Richmond is good. Most people were pleased with their or their relative’s care, had warm caring relationships with the people who cared for them and spoke of living in positive environments. There is much for local homes to be proud of and we identified much good practice. Residents, relatives and staff shared their experiences of life in the homes and we thank them for working with us. All the homes responded to our requests to undertake an Enter & View visit and provided us with the information we needed for our visits.

Generally the views of all the homes on local health and social care services were positive, particularly on community nursing and GP practices. However they raised concerns about hospital admission and discharge procedures.

Laurel Dene Care Home: There has been an improvement in the numbers of permanent staff and in staff retention between our visits in 2016 and follow up in 2017. An activities manager was being recruited to expand the programme they can offer residents. The home was generally well run and there was good communication between staff and residents and their families.

Deer Lodge: Deer Lodge is a small residential and nursing home, in Teddington. The residents and families were very positive about the care they received and said they felt included about decisions in the home.

We shared some of the good practice that we’d seen at other homes and recommended that the home use colour coding to aid residents with dementia to find their way around the home. We also helped Deer Lodge address some issues that they had experienced with the NHS. Medical records had taken too long to transfer to a new doctor which had caused concern for the continuity of some residents’ care. We also raised the concerns they had expressed about hospital admission and discharge procedures, particularly for residents with dementia.

Hampton Care: Hampton Care is a large residential nursing home. It was in a period of transition when we visited with new owners and management. We observed that the home was well-run and that they have made good progress in starting to implement improvements including the effectiveness of the new care planning system, the review of their dementia care provision and the improvement of staff’s skills in working with residents who have dementia.

There was a welcoming atmosphere and we saw evidence of good relationships and good communication between management, residents and staff. Healthwatch Richmond liaised with Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group to draw attention to the home’s concerns about the delay in continuing healthcare assessments.

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