During the COVID-19 pandemic there have been considerable challenges across Sussex care homes, including how to keep families in touch with their relatives.
On the 10th November Healthwatch in Sussex hosted an online webinar for families and friends of care home residents. It explored the impact and potential solutions to the separation of care home residents and their loved ones in a pandemic.
This event was attended by 90 people, made up of members of the public, representative bodies, commissioners and front-line staff from health and care services.
The report will be shared with all participants, key decision makers locally and nationally via Healthwatch England and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Next steps, Healthwatch in Sussex (HWiS) will:
- Explore with Care Home providers the possibility of engaging with residents to gather their experiences using virtual resources following enter & view protocols.
- Invite interested relatives to a discussion group to develop and progress the recommendations, provide detailed feedback to health and care partners and commence planning for a Sussex-wide learning event in January 2021.
1. The webinar presentations were recorded and should be viewed by health and care partners.
2. HWiS to build upon the connections established during the planning and delivery of the webinar and to continue to amplify the voices of families and residents.
3. HWiS to establish an informal ‘discussion group’ to sustain conversations with relatives, take forward recommendations and progress ongoing discussions as new guidelines in relation to Care Homes and visiting are announced.
4. HWiS and partners to share this Webinar report widely in order to influence the decision makers in planning for the future of residential care across Sussex.
5. HWis and partners to continue to push for greater clarity on guidance for families around visiting arrangements.
6. HWiS and partners to encourage providers to adopt best practice examples of staying connected with families during the pandemic, considering the impact on both residents and relatives.
7. HWiS and partners to explore the suggestion that relatives be awarded key worker status to facilitate continued visiting of their loved ones in care homes.