Healthwatch hears from care home managers about services supporting the health of their residents

As we come out of the pandemic, we asked care home managers how easy it was to get support for their residents from GPs, dentists, opticians, community health, and hospital transport services.
Young male doctor and elderly man sitting on sofa and smiling during care home visit
We have a resident GP so it’s very easy for residents to see one if and when needed.
— Care home manager, on access to GP services for residents

We spoke to managers at six care homes in Islington: Bridgeside Lodge, Cheverton Lodge, Highbury New Park, 75 Durham Road, Muriel Street, and 60 Durham Road.

Jeni Kent, our Volunteers and Project Manager, interviewed some of the managers, as did members of our volunteering team. Jeni shares some of her impressions of those conversations:

"What struck me was how much more straightforward GP access appeared to be, compared to some of the other health services we asked about. Regular access to services like podiatry can play an important role in falls prevention, whilst dental check ups and eye tests can help with early detection of cancers and other serious health conditions. There was a fair bit of variance between homes, different approaches. Managers told us that access to hospital transport services was problematic, which is something we've heard from many different quarters over the last few years."

We're very grateful to all the care home managers who were able to set aside time to share their views with us, especially since these services have been under tremendous pressure during the pandemic.

Feedback from residents and relatives

We heard from relatives that advocating for their loved ones can be hard work, and it would be particularly useful to have a better idea of what goes on in other care homes, and how procedures can vary. It was felt that current structures don't enable this kind of knowledge sharing.

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