• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

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Watchdog needs your home care experiences

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 14.42.48People being cared for by home care agencies in Newcastle now have the chance to have their say and ensure that their needs are met in the future.

Healthwatch Newcastle is researching home care services and has developed three surveys for anyone connected with home care provision in the city. The work comes after recent recommendations for home care providers issued by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence),

The surveys are designed for people using home care services, their carers and relatives and for home care staff. Home care (sometimes called domiciliary care) delivers a range of personal care and support services to individuals in their own homes. This can range from a 15 minute check to make sure that someone has taken prescribed medication through to 24 hour, live-in care.

The survey results will form the basis of a major report with recommendations based on the findings. The aim is to ensure that future home care services are designed to meet the needs of Newcastle residents. The report will be shared with Newcastle City Council and the home care providers and they will be expected to respond within 20 working days.

One service user who has been involved in the work is 61-year-old John from the north east of Newcastle. John is registered blind and has a carer visit his home once a week to help with shopping and general jobs he can’t do because of his health.

“I’m delighted with the service I get from my carer but when she is on holiday I do feel more vulnerable and often the administration of my provider lets  me down. If I could change anything then it would be more training for them so that they recognise our feelings and concerns when our normal carer isn’t available.”

Another person who relies on care within the city is actress and MD of Scattered Pictures, TV Production Company, Kim Tserkezie. Kim is best known for her former role as Penny Pocket, in the hugely successful CBeebies series Balamory. Due to her disability, Kim requires 24/7 assistance and she welcomes the survey and encourages others to complete it too.

“At a time when social care services are being squeezed and cut, it is more vital than ever that there is a platform for service users to be heard. We’re all experiencing anxiety and fear about the future of our support. People can often be scared of criticising services or asking for more support for fear of losing the assistance they already have. I urge social care users to share their views in this confidential survey to help improve and protect services that are vital to our safety, dignity and human rights.”

Chief Executive of Healthwatch Newcastle, the independent champion for users of social care and health services, Steph Edusei said:

“We’re not targeting care providers to find examples of bad practice. Instead, we are hoping to find out what people think of services so that we can help Newcastle City Council and the home care providers provide the best possible care for their service users and families

“All information given by service users, their relatives and carers and by care workers will be treated confidentially and will remain anonymous. We are independent of Newcastle City Council and the home care providers so those responding to the survey can have confidence that what they say to us will not be shared in a way that can be linked to them..”

To complete the service user survey visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/homecare-serviceusers (deadline 15 January 2016)
To complete the carers’ and relatives’ survey visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/homecare-carers (deadline 15 January 2016)
To complete the home care staff survey visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/homecare-staff (deadline 4 January 2016)

Anyone wanting to know more can contact Rachel at Healthwatch Newcastle on 0191 338 5723 orrachel@healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk

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By admin