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Your spotlight on local services

Life in a care home in Redbridge, what's it really like?


Work by Healthwatch Redbridge has helped to inform a new national report on peoples’ experience of care homes.


Between January 2016 and April 2017, local Healthwatch staff and volunteers across England visited 197 care homes across 63 different local authority areas, including Redbridge to find out what day to day life is really like for many of those living in care homes.


The Healthwatch report outlines key next steps for care homes in Redbridge, how feedback can be used to identify a whole host of small, low cost changes that ensure all residents feel ‘at home’.


There are approximately 71 care and nursing homes in the Healthwatch Redbridge area (source: Redbridge Adult Health & Social Services Care Directory 2017). The majority of residents and relatives Healthwatch spoke with considered the care they received to be good, with innovative homes showing what is possible without breaking the bank.


Local Healthwatch representatives also saw staff going above and beyond the call of duty to connect with those they care for and really helping them to live their lives. One care home supported residents to produce a poster where residents could write their views about how they would like to be treated. The poster remains visible to all as a reminder of the importance of dignity and respect for all within the home.


Another care home had introduced an on-site replica cinema showing films from different eras as decided by the residents whilst another had joint staff and resident meetings and training sessions. One home had developed a joint fundraising initiative for a minibus so that residents could go for days out.

However, Healthwatch volunteer visitors also witnessed homes not getting the basics right with even those providing excellent care failing to tick all the boxes.

Some residents and patients told representatives that, at times staff were so rushed that they appeared to have a shortage of time to do the ‘little things’ that matter to those in a health or social care setting.

Although many of the reports produced by local Healthwatch organisations raise concerns about people’s experiences, the vast majority of care home managers have responded to the feedback very positively, often agreeing to review processes and making changes very quickly.


Cathy Turland, Healthwatch Redbridge Chief Executive, said: ‘We have statutory powers to ‘Enter and View’ care homes and speak to people about their experiences of using the service. Mostly, we will visit as part of a specific engagement project but at other times we can turn up unannounced if a number of local people have raised issues or concerns about a care home.’

‘We encourage care homes to be more inclusive and work with residents, relatives and staff to help drive improvement.’


The full report can be downloaded from below