Point House – My Views Matter report – April 2023

Part of Healthwatch Norfolk’s work programme is to carry out Enter and View visits to health and social care services, to see and hear how people experience care. The visits are carried out by our authorised representatives. We can make recommendations or suggest ideas where we see areas for improvement.

The Health and Social Care Act allows local Healthwatch authorised representatives to observe service delivery and talk to service users, their families and carers on premises such as hospitals, residential homes, GP practices, dental surgeries, optometrists and pharmacies.

Enter and View visits can happen if people tell us there is a problem with a service. Equally they can occur when services have a good reputation, so we can learn about and share examples of what they do well from the perspective of people who experience the service first hand.

My Views Matter

From September 2022 – March 2023, our Enter and View visits will be part of a project called ‘My Views Matter’. This project is specifically focused on residential and in-patientcare for people with learning disabilities and autistic people in Norfolk. We are implementing this project in response to the tragic events at Cawston Park, in which three residents with learning disabilities died between 2018 and 2020. One of the key findings from the Safeguarding Adults Review was that residents and their families were not being listened to.

My Views Matter will involve visiting around 20 residential homes across Norfolk to find out what people with learning disabilities and autistic people, and their families, want from their residential care. It will also investigate whether residents’ and their families’ views are being taken into account in how care is delivered.

Alongside the Enter and View visits to homes, we are also interviewing family members and professionals in the sector and organizing focus groups with care home residents outside their homes. The project is being implemented with the assistance of About with Friends, NANSA (Norfolk and Norwich SEND Association) and Opening Doors.

A final report from this project, which will report on data from across the county, will be published in May 2023.

Summary of findings

During this Enter and View visit at Point House in Norwich, we focused on what residents thought about their care, and the degree to which they were being listened to by the home staff. We considered the following themes, with the following findings:

Voice choice and personalisation: Point House seemed to be organised in a way that put people in control of their home. This happened both through monthly clients’ meetings, but also through the strong relationships between residents and staff. Family members told us that the home’s communication with them was very good, and that staff were happy to facilitate family visits.

Premises: The home is spacious, with bright, pleasant and homely communal spaces. We were invited by two residents to view their bedrooms, which were pleasant and well-personalised. Point House is an older building which could slightly limit accessibility for some people. However, all of the current residents seemed to be able to move around the premises freely.

Activities: The relatively low number of funded hours for each resident limited how often some people could go out. However, all of the residents went out regularly, and seemed happy with the number of outings they could make. They were also all very active inside the home, with a good choice of activities which they clearly enjoyed.

Relationships and community: The quality of relationships between staff and residents and between residents themselves was really striking. There did not seem to be a marked hierarchy between staff and residents, and the atmosphere was that of a large family home. The residents all regularly spent time out in the local community.

Food and health: People were consulted on a weekly basis as to what they wanted to eat, and there were facilities for people to prepare food for themselves. Everyone we spoke to said that they were happy with the food they were offered. People also told us that they were very happy with how staff helped to look after them when they are ill.

Relations with the broader health and social care system: The senior staff were very happy with the service that they receive from local GP practices. They had some concerns about the bandings that NCC uses to allocate funding to residents, thinking they were too broad and sometimes not generous enough.

Overall, Point House seemed to be a very happy and homely home. The community living there was lively, happy and caring, and residents’ preferences were put at the centre of how the home was run.

Recommendations

We were very impressed by the homely atmosphere and strong relationships that we saw at Point House, and residents seemed to be able to live full and happy lives there. The only recommendations that we had were that it could be made clearer where the main entrance is, since it is not the old front door of the house. It could also be useful to have a list of available activities posted on the wall in the communal areas as a memory jogger for the residents.

They are lovely down there. They treat my relative as special and important, and he has never had that before.

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