In December we published a report called Working in a care home during the coronavirus outbreak. We wanted to hear about the experiences of people who worked in Buckinghamshire care homes.
We wrote to Buckinghamshire Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), Buckinghamshire Council and Buckinghamshire care homes asking them for a response to our recommendations.
Some of the recommendations we made to ICP were:
- Work with Buckinghamshire social care providers to ensure care home staff are aware of the professional mental health support available to them
- Consider targeted communications to social care staff on the mental health support available to them including self-referral to Healthy Minds and the Buckinghamshire and Oxford Mental Health helpline.
Some of the recommendations we made to Buckinghamshire Council were:
- We recommend that Buckinghamshire Council continues to work with care homes to ensure that staff have access to COVID-19 testing and appropriate PPE
- Support care homes to develop well trained and skilled staff
- Build on the more collaborative working relationships with care home providers following the coronavirus outbreak.
Some of the recommendations we made to care homes were:
- To support their staff further, we recommend care homes ensure that staff are aware of how to access professional mental health support
- Consider training at least one member of staff in Mental Health First Aid
- Develop a work culture that promotes good physical and mental health recognising one solution does not suit everyone.
Gillian Quinton, Corporate Director – Adults and Health at Buckinghamshire Council said:
We are grateful to Healthwatch Bucks for their continued work with the Council to ensure the delivery of the best quality of care for our residents. Your work has ensured that the voice, and views of our service users continue to be heard and considered during these difficult times. We will continue our work to deliver the recommendations made in your report.
Lastly, we would like to thank Buckinghamshire Council and ICP for responding to our recommendations.