Care Homes

Care homes and COVID-19 – What are your experiences and what to expect

Healthwatch Central West London has statutory powers to “enter and view” publicly funded services in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster. This means that we can visit services like care homes to listen to people’s experiences and communicate issues affecting residents to care home providers, Adult Social Care commissioners and the Care Quality Commission. You can see our work on care homes here.

We have paused this work during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the wellbeing of residents, care home staff, and volunteers. But we still want to hear about people’s experiences. This will help us talk to decision makers and commissioners about how they can best support local people to stay safe and get the care and support they need.

Whether you are a care home resident, a relative or a care home worker you can share with us your experiences by completing our Care Homes survey or scroll down this page for more options.

We are also in touch with local care home providers, Adult Social Care in the bi-borough and the NHS to inform them about the issues that you might be facing and to communicate further information as we receive it.

What guidance has the Government issued related to Care Homes?

This guidance gives information on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available. Last updated 5th October 2020.

According to the guidance, “all registered adult care homes can apply for coronavirus tests” for both residents and staff.

The Government has issued the following guidance documents to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak that are relevant to Care Homes.

This framework provides support for ongoing response planning and decision-making for adult social care. It sets out principles that should be followed by local authorities when they are organising and delivering social care for adults.

These principles are: respect, reasonableness, minimising harm, inclusiveness, accountability, flexibility, proportionality and community. Each principle includes specific actions that need to be taken.

This action plan sets out the Government’s approach for how people receive adult social care; including in  people’s own homes, residential care homes and nursing homes, and other community settings – it applies to people with direct payments and personal budgets, and those who fund their own care.

The approach is made of four pillars: a) Controlling the spread of infection, b) Supporting the workforce, c) Supporting independence, supporting people at the end of their lives, and responding to individual needs and d) Supporting local authorities and the providers of care.

According to this action plan the Government confirms that “{they} will move to institute a policy of testing all residents prior to admission to care homes. This will begin with all those being discharged from hospital and the NHS will have a responsibility for testing these specific patients, in advance of timely discharge.”

This guidance states that Care Homes are responsible for ensuring they have the necessary testing and equipment in place to support patients moving back to their care homes following hospital discharge.

We note that this guidance was published on an earlier day before the governmental action plan.

This guidance sets out the Hospital Discharge Service Requirements for all NHS trusts, community interest companies and private care providers of acute, community beds and community health services and social care staff in England. It also sets out requirements around discharge for health and social care commissioners.

According to the guidance, unless required to be in hospital patients must not remain in an NHS bed and they must be discharged as soon as it is clinically safe to do so.

What can I do if I experience problems with hospital discharge and care homes?

  • Contact the care home provider directly (contact details of all care homes below)
  • Contact adult social care in the Borough where the care home is located (details below)
  • Contact the PALS team at the hospital if the issue is about hospital discharge (details below)
  • If you have a safeguarding concern you should contact your local authority (details can be found below)
  • Note that formal complaints have been suspended. You can read Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman latest announcement here
  • Share your experiences and concerns with us. Although we do not provide individual support, we will communicate the problems you might be facing with local care home providers, Adult Social Care in the bi-borough and the NHS and support them to act on those. We will also notify Healthwatch England about what we hear locally, and they will report concerns directly to Government.

How can I share my or my relatives’ Care Home experience?

You can complete our Care Homes survey here

 Alternatively, you can use any of our communications channels below or let us know how you would like to engage with you.

Is this only to make negative comments? Can I send you some positive examples from a local care home or another one?

Yes, you can. Please use the above channels to send us positive examples too. We will share these with the local care homes, so that we all learn during this process.

For example, in this picture Sunnyside Care Centres’ residents are playing bingo while maintaining social distancing.

Download a list of arts activities for care homes to help residents adjust to the current climate.

How can I find the contact details of a care home in my area?

  • The Kensington Care Home – 40-46 Ladbroke Road, W11 3PH, 020 3944 1846
  • Alan Morkill House – 88 St Mark’s Road, W10 6BY, 020 8964 1123
  • Ellesmere House – 9 Nightingale Place, SW10 9NG, 0333 434 3025
  • Chelsea Court Place- 234a Kings Road, SW3 5UA, 0333 433 0782
  • Kingsbridge Road – 20 Kingsbridge Road, W10 6PU
  • St Teresa’s Home- 40/46 Roland Gardens, SW7 3PW, 020 7373 5820
  • Turning Point Hazel House – 67 Warwick Road, SW5 9HB, 020 7244 7533
  • Norton House -10 Arneway Street, SW1P 2BG, 0800 085 4147
  • Westmead Residential Care Home – 4 Tavistock Road, W11 1BA, 020 3826 5505
  • Athlone House Nursing Home – 7a Woodfield Road, W9 2BA, 020 3826 5500
  • Garside House Nursing Home – 131 – 151 Regency Street, SW1P 4AH, 020 3826 5520
  • Forrester Court – 5 Cirencester Street, W2 5SR, 0333 434 3029
  • Carlton Dene Residential Care Home – 45 Kilburn Park Road, NW6 5XD, 020 3826 5510
  • Albert Suites at Battersea Place – 73 Albert Bridge Road, SW11 4DS, 020 7924 8600

How can I get support from the Council to raise my concerns?

Anyone with a safeguarding issue in a care or nursing home should report it to their funding local authority. Full contact details can be found below.

Where I can get support if my issue is related to the hospital?

You can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Team (PALS) at the hospital where you had your treatment:

PALS at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

PALS at St Mary’s Hospital

PALS at Charing Cross Hospital

PALS at Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea hospitals

Where can I address a safeguarding concern?

Westminster council

Tel: 020 7641 1444 or 020 7641 1175 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday)

Email: adultsocialcare@westminster.gov.uk

K&C council

Tel: 020 7361 3013 (9am to 5pm)
Tel:  020 7373 2227 (out-of-office-hours)
Email: socialservices@rbkc.gov.uk

My relatives and/or myself receive home care and/or supported living. Where can I find information?

 The Government has issued guidance for home care and supported living provision that you can find here.

What if I have other questions about coronavirus and/or I am based in another Borough?

If you are looking for other information and/or are based in another Borough, please see our information and guidance page.

If you want to tell us about other experiences during the outbreak please visit this page.

General helpful Information on Care Homes – Prior to the outbreak

What are my options for choosing a care home?

This NHS webpage should be your first point of contact to understand your options for choosing a care home for you and your family.

What to expect from a good care home?

The Care Quality Commission, which is the independent regulator for health and social care, has produced this guidance to help you understand what to expect from a good care home.

How can I find a care home?

Which? has produced this directory to help you in your search for a care home.