After hearing reports from the public about poor standards of care in local care homes, the team spotted an opportunity to improve things.
We spoke with the Care Quality Commission about what they'd seen during inspections and then spoke to care home staff, residents and their families about their experiences. We also found out about the pressures staff were facing and what they needed to provide a better service.
After sharing what they'd heard with the key local decision makers, a variety of steps have been taken to make things better. Thanks in part to our efforts, 69% of all Island nursing and care homes have now received a 'good' rating by CQC, 30% 'require improvement' and no homes are rated as 'inadequate'.
Taking the concerns shared with them by local people, Healthwatch Isle of Wight's work has seen the local council reinstate quality monitoring visits to local care homes (the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group) set up an integrated quality surveillance group and established a registered care homes managers' network. This has had a clear impact with CQC ratings across the Island dramatically improving, and now other local Healthwatch looking to replicate the project elsewhere.
This work was also awarded the NICE Better Care Award sponsored by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. This special award celebrated the most outstanding example where a local Healthwatch has been able to improve local health or care services by using NICE advice or guidance. This was achieved for the way in which we used NICE guidance to demonstrate to those running nursing and residential care homes why it was important to have clear plans in place for residents. We also helped the local authority to understand the difference that improving the quality of care can make to people's lives.
This piece of work began when people contacted us with their experiences of residential care services and this demonstrates the difference that people can make by sharing what happened to them. We would like to personally thank the residents, families and friends that contacted us, for their contribution to the improvement in the quality of care provided to local people.