'Come on time, slow down, and smile.'
Older people's experiences of home care in Bradford District.
Healthwatch Bradford and District carried out a study to understand people’s experiences of receiving care services in their home. The title of our report ‘Come on time, slow down, and smile’ is a quote from one person’s account of what would make their care better.
Our report is based on 240 responses from older people or their carers.
- People we heard from valued their home care service and recognised its importance in keeping them as independent as possible and enabling them to live at home.
- Timeliness of visits – almost two-thirds of respondents said care workers are mostly on time, however many respondents raised concerns about rushed visits, unpredictable and variable timings of care and missed visits.
- A significant number of people said that communication about delayed arrival times or cancelled care visits was poor.
- Delivering planned care – just over half of the people we spoke to said duties on the care plan are always followed, the remaining respondents felt there was insufficient time and/or carers’ approach or skill level resulted in care needs not being met. Medication is a particular issue for some people.
- Care workers’ attitude and approach – service users rated the attitude and approach of staff overall as good and felt they were treated with dignity and respect. In some cases of care, staff would happily go the extra mile. But there was also a high number of respondents who made reference to poor communication and poor attitude of some care staff.
- Training and skill level of care workers – There was a high recognition of lack of skills and training among some care staff. A specific issue related to basic cultural awareness, housekeeping and culinary skills i.e. making a cup of tea or making the bed.
- Continuity of care workers - many respondents highlighted the need for the same care workers to visit regularly; this would help to deliver care accurately and familiarity would result in further efficiency i.e. service users with dementia.
- Service Provider and Involvement of Service User- overall support and effectiveness from the service generally received positive commentary. There was some reference made to bad organisation and communication with some agencies.
Healthwatch Bradford and District would like to thank the hundreds of older people and carers who responded to our survey and took the time and trouble to complete a questionnaire, took part in a telephone interview or had a home visit. We appreciate them telling us their individual experiences of home care services with the aim of seeing improvements for all.