Healthwatch Islington published a report into home care services in January 2014.
Their findings were that:
Respondents were receiving care to support them with a broad range of tasks.
We noted that overall respondents were fairly satisfied with services and were being offered continuity of care. However, the group is self-selected and only included people who we were able to reach. It is possible that service satisfaction may be higher amongst this group than other service users. We also noted whilst looking for people to take part that some residents that we met although not in receipt of home care from social services were receiving additional support with tasks like shopping from local organisations. We were not able to ascertain whether they were eligible for social care or not.
Most respondents valued continuity of care. Many respondents were receiving care from more than one person. Generally respondents felt that they knew when someone different was expected and that there was consistency, but this was not always the case, and could cause additional strain on the care recipient and unpaid carers. Several respondents reported getting a non-regular carer on most days (three from London Care, one from Allied Care and two could not remember the name of the provider).
Very few respondents were taken outside their home as part of their care. As we did not see service users’ care plans we do not know whether this is because it is not planned for or because there is not time for this.
There was support from respondents for the difficult job that carers do and the constraints within which they are working. And most respondents felt that they were treated well by carers and that the carers were competent.
Generally respondents felt that their carers were able to provide the care needed in the time available, though not always and not all carers.
There was a lack of awareness around making complaints and of what safeguarding means and how to report it. Healthwatch Islington sign-posted service users as appropriate to increase this awareness.