In 2018 Healthwatch County Durham was approached by the Adult Social Care commissioner at Durham County Council with a workplan request for us to consider carrying out some engagement with tenants who live in supported accommodation, where the support provider had been outsourced from Durham County Council to Embracing Care. The aim of the engagement was to see if there had been any changes in the delivery of support since the transfer and to find out if there was anything tenants/carers/family wanted to let us know.
- Along with this report the commissioners have a period of reflection where they discuss with the new provider the way the new provision has evolved, whether there are any emerging staffing or service delivery issues and how they can be addressed. This might include staff v management ratios and whether it is working effectively.
- If there are any future service provider changes, that commissioners and providers endeavor to keep people receiving the support well informed throughout the process.
- Where new tenants are being supported to select where they would like to live, that careful thought is given to the client mix to ensure the needs and aspirations of both existing and prospective tenants can be accommodated (this includes the gender make-up in a house).
- Wherever possible the provider should try to minimise the use of agency staff. Temporary staffing was raised as a concern for many tenants and family members (some tenants told us the provider was using “job shadowing” to try and have temporary staff who were more familiar with each other. This was well received by tenants).