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Major study finds ‘highly positive’ views on Suffolk home care - but makes ‘essential recommendations’

PUBLISHED: 00:34 04 June 2018

Healthwatch Suffolk chief executive Andy Yacoub has thanked people for taking part in the survey Picture: GREGG BROWN

Healthwatch Suffolk chief executive Andy Yacoub has thanked people for taking part in the survey Picture: GREGG BROWN

One of the largest investigations into Suffolk home care services has found high satisfaction ratings – but calls for better engagement and increased focus on people’s needs.

Healthwatch Suffolk’s My Care at Home report is published today to help to shape and influence the future of domiciliary care.

More than 500 people shared their experience for the report, which is said to be one of the largest research projects of its kind, and was carried out in collaboration with Suffolk County Council (SCC)

The report found satisfaction ratings were high, with most people stating their service was “good” or “excellent”.

However, it also makes a number of essential requirements to inform care providers and Suffolk County Council about the issues faced by people receiving care. Healthwatch says the recommendations will help providers build on their strength and address areas of weakness.

The report calls for increased focus on people’s needs, highlighting the varying care requirements of service users.

It also calls for greater engagement with people, warning that the “task-focussed” nature of home care can be a barrier.

Consistency is highlighted in the report as being key to build long-term, trusting relationships.

Healthwatch also recommends that people are told in advance if their care is going to change, as this is reported have a “big impact” on people’s experiences.

Lastly, the report calls for providers to “make more time for care” and to keep the travel times between appointments realistic.

Healthwatch chief executive Andy Yacoub thanked everyone who took part in the survey.

“The high response rate indicates to us just how important these services are and how passionate people feel about both supporting their carers and where things could change to make their lives that little bit easier,” he added.

“It is absolutely clear to us that the majority of people we contacted are highly positive about their care and in particular their carers. That said, our report is about domiciliary care that takes place in someone’s home and providers need to be mindful of that.

“The intentions of our recommendations lie in the premise that an ambition to address them, collectively, would lead to a more rounded, more consistent and more efficient local service, and improved outcomes for the service user.”

Beccy Hopfensperger, who is responsible for adult care at SCC, said: “The Council welcomes this comprehensive report that has obtained views from over 500 customers and/or their families.

“I would like to share my heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in the survey and HealthWatch Suffolk for completing this valuable research.”

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