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Sunderland Release Domiciliary Care Report Findings

Healthwatch Sunderland, an established and independent champion for people who use health and social care services in the city have released their report findings into domiciliary care across the city.

Domiciliary care is a term commonly used to define the range of services put in place to provide care and support to an individual’s care in their own home. During October

and November 2022, in partnership with Sunderland City Council, Healthwatch

Sunderland designed and launched a survey to gather people’s experiences of

receiving care in the home (domiciliary care).

The aim of the survey was to find out what is working well in domiciliary care and

what needs to be improved. Armed with this intelligence, Sunderland City Council

can then use it to ensure that care agencies provide a service that enables people to

have a good experience of care in their home.

In partnership with Sunderland City Council, the team at Healthwatch Sunderland

designed a survey to collect feedback from those individuals who have carers in the

home or where more appropriate from their family members or friends. 75

respondents engaged in the survey which looked at issues around visits from carers,

quality of care and treatment, to the skills and training of carers.

• Overall satisfaction levels - 90% of service users are either very happy or

happy with the service they receive from their care agency in comparison to

66% of family members/friends.

• Quality of care and treatment - 88% of service users felt that their carers

always or usually know them well, in comparison 80% of family

members/friends felt this was the case.

• 79% of service users stated carers always treat them with kindness and in

compassionate and caring way, whereas 65% of family/friends felt that way

Healthwatch Sunderland is the local health and social care champion, working city

wide to make sure NHS leaders and other decision makers hear people’s voices and

use the feedback to improve care.

Anna Gillingham, Engagement Co-ordinator, Healthwatch Sunderland said:

“The report into Domiciliary Care was a key focus for the team throughout October

and November 2022. As ever we always appreciate the engagement from

participants who took part in the survey.

The survey engagement is vital for us to identify what is working well and what

needs improving so we assess the situation as an independent champion for people

who use health and social care services.”

The report found high levels of satisfaction in relation to staff attitudes and

professionalism, with 88% of service users and 80% of family members/friends

stating that the carers either always or usually know them well and how they like to

be supported.

However, the report highlighted that improvements need to be made into the time

keeping of carer visits with 21% of service users and 24% of family members/friends

stating that the carers sometimes, rarely or never stay at their visits for the length of

time that they should. In addition, communication with care agencies and those

receiving the domiciliary care needs addressing further.

Anna added:

“The full report has now been submitted to Sunderland City Council so they can

review the findings and identify any opportunities and potential service delivery gaps

to further enhance the quality of domiciliary care support across the city. As ever this

has been a key piece of research, engaging with people at the heart of the service to

ensure that their voices are heard.”

Graham King, Director of Adult Services at Sunderland City Council, said:

“It is encouraging to see high levels of satisfaction among people who receive

domiciliary care and I am pleased to see so many of them and their families report

that they feel their carers know them well.

Equally the report also helps us to identify areas where we can improve the service

going forward which will feed into our overall review of what future services people

need to keep them independent and at home. I’d like to thank everyone who took

part in the survey.”

The team at Healthwatch Sunderland work closely with the community to understand needs, experiences and concerns and have been at the heart of an array of high- profile changes from supporting the launch of a new amputee community group, GP Access reports to hospital discharge patient experience surveys.


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