This report was created to allow us to gather intelligence into residents’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect the pandemic has had on their physical and mental health. Our report follows on from Phase 1 of our care homes project which consisted of contacting care home managers in Barnet to gain insight into Barnet care homes' experiences of providing services to their residents.
Healthwatch Barnet emailed a survey to all 83 CQC-registered care homes within the London Borough of Barnet from December 2020 to February 2021 for care home residents and their family and friends to complete. This was followed by Healthwatch Barnet staff and volunteers directly calling care homes to speak with residents to gain insight into their experiences. We received 129 responses in total.
- COVID-19 information - 84% of respondents had been provided with information on how to stay safe during the pandemic, such as handwashing and social distancing, for themselves and their relatives by the care home.
- Testing - 73% of respondents had been offered COVID-19 testing mainly on a monthly and weekly basis.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - 78% of respondents indicated that care home staff always used appropriate PPE when providing care, although 62% of respondents stated they were provided PPE for personal use in shared spaces.
- Access to healthcare services - Respondents have had issues in accessing healthcare services with 23% of respondents stating an impact in accessing their GP and 29% OF respondents stating that the pandemic affected their access to a dentist.
- Impact on mental health - Almost 50% of respondents stated that their mental health and wellbeing had deteriorated, primarily due to a lack of social interaction causing isolation and depression.
- Impact on physical health - 35% of respondents stated that their physical health had deteriorated due to factors such as reduced access to healthcare services and physical wellbeing activities, including maintaining relationships with family and friends.
- Visits - The restriction on visits from loved ones has been distressing for respondents; care homes created alternative methods such as video calls, telephones and emails as substitutes for in-person visits however many respondents complained that these were not an adequate substitute to in-person visits.
- Care home staff - We found respondents overwhelmingly praised their care home staff and stated that the staff had been excellent in providing care and support during the pandemic.
You can download and read the report in full here.