Healthwatch Devon is aware of concerns relating to unfulfilled care at home packages in certain areas within Devon particularly those raised by Rob Hannaford at Adults’ Standing Overview Group on 05 September 2016. So that we can better understand the situation, please can you provide us with a response to the following questions?
1. Can you provide us with figures for the last 2 years that show the number of unfulfilled home care packages across the county, illustrating the breakdown within each locality?
By unfilled packages of care we assume you mean either people in hospital awaiting a package of personal care to be arranged to enable them to be discharged or people at home who are being supported by family and friends while waiting for a package of personal care to be arranged. Whilst we have records dating back over the time period you specify, your specific questions would require us to make a manual search of those records. This would take in excess of 18 hours and we are therefore unable to answer your question.
We provide care to over 3800 people each week and to put the position into context the number who are currently waiting for care on the definition used above represents about 1.5% of that total (circa 60 people)
2. Given these figures provided for Question 1, what is the average waiting time for a care package to be in place?
The average waiting time is 22 days.
3. How do the waiting times compare to those in other: 3.1: localities and 3.2 local authority areas? Can you provide median and mean figures if possible?
There is no comparative data that would enable us to answer this question
4. Are people coming onto the list and staying there in a pool or do the figures represent a constant throughput of people who experience a delay in fulfilling their care packages?
The situation is constantly changing
5. Can you provide us with the reasons why people are experiencing unfulfilled care packages?
This is consequence of insufficient numbers of paid care workers available to respond to need, (despite constant recruitment by care agencies)
6. What date did Living Well at Home start in each area and is there any difference in meeting needs which can be attributed to that contract?
The contract began on 18th July 2017. Based on our definition above our best estimate (note the answer to Q1) is that numbers today are very similar to those at the outset of the contract.
The change in the contractual environment may have had an impact during the Autumn but this is hard to quantify as it also co-incided with the winter surge in demand.
7. Are there any concerns about quality of care provided to people in receipt of a care at home package and if so, how is this being reviewed and monitored?
Over 91% of Devon’s personal care providers are rated as good or excellent by CQC and quality of care is generally very good. Inevitably issues arise from time to time which we address through our complaints process, quality assurance and contract management.
8. With reference to the recent Panorama documentary “Britain’s Home Care Crisis” please can you share with us the response that Devon County Council provided to The BBC’s Freedom of Information request in relation to contracts for care in the home.
The Council was unable to provide a response to the Panorama Programme within the required timeframe