Healthwatch Derbyshire, the independent organisation representing the views of the Derbyshire public on health and social care services, will be carrying out unannounced visits to all Derbyshire County Council-run care homes over the next 12 months.

 

Trained volunteers carried out five Enter and View visits to care homes across the County last year – collecting the views of service users and highlighting both good practice and any issues for service improvement.

 

The project will see volunteers visiting the County Council’s 22 care homes that support older people and four services supporting people with learning difficulties.

 

Healthwatch Derbyshire Chief Executive Karen Ritchie explained: “An Enter and View visit is not an inspection but is complementary to the quality and safety monitoring work undertaken by the Care Quality Commission and Derbyshire County Council.

 

“Enter and View visits focus on a lay person’s perspective of the care and treatment that residents receive, to ensure that residents are treated with dignity and respect. We concentrate on the service user’s perspective, and their engagement in the care they receive.

 

“It is recognised that service users feel comfortable with lay people and trust them because of their independence.

 

“Our visits and subsequent published reports therefore give a voice to service users, patients and members of the public, so they can speak up about their experiences of care, both good and bad.

 

“We are delighted that Derbyshire County Council obviously value the work carried out by our trained representatives and the information gathering and reporting process that we have in place.”

 

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care Councillor Paul Smith said: “We are pleased Healthwatch has agreed to carry out a number of unannounced visits to our residential care homes and look forward to receiving their feedback.

 

“We are confident that we are offering extremely high quality care and support to residents at our homes across the county and it is essential that we maintain these standards while addressing any areas that may be identified through these visits as needing improvement.

 

“These independent visits will help us to see what we’re doing well and identify areas where more work is needed and this will support us to deliver on our commitment to directly provide services of the highest quality to the residents of Derbyshire.”

 

Healthwatch Derbyshire currently has a group of 16 trained volunteers who carry out Enter and View visits and are expanding the service with training sessions organised throughout the year.

 

For more information about how to get involved, please visit www.healthwatchderbyshire.co.uk or telephone 01773 880786.

© Healthwatch Derbyshire 2021

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