17 February 2021 11:55

The families of older people who are users of care homes in Bizkaia rate the care their relatives receive at 8.06

Social Action

This assessment is higher than that given for a previous survey carried out two years ago, when it was 7.87. The management of Bizkaia Provincial Council in residential care homes with regard to the Covid-19 health crisis is rated at 7.18 and they acknowledge a high level of knowledge of the measures implemented by the provincial institution to address it. More than half of the people surveyed, 51.4%, rate the supervision that the Provincial council carries out in care homes at above 8 on a scale from 0 to 10, and 47.6% perceive that more inspections are being carried out. These are some of the main conclusions of the telephone survey carried out last December among relatives of care home users to address the assessment of the residential model, the quality of the service, the care provided and the proposals for improvement they make. Sergio Murillo: “2,015 families consider that their older relatives in a situation of dependence are in good hands”.

In a new study, Bizkaia Provincial Council has collected the assessment that the families of dependent older people make of the residential care homes of the region where they reside and are cared for. The main conclusions of this study are, on the one hand, that a rating of 8.06 out of 10 is given to the service offered by residential care homes to people in a situation of dependence, and on the other, that the management by the provincial Institution regarding the Covid-19 crisis is rated at 7.18 on a scale of 0 to 10.

For the provincial institution it is essential to have a complete and optimal residential model for dependent people that satisfies their needs and those of their families, meaning that having first-hand knowledge of the assessment that families make of its management is seen as necessary.

The provincial institution has approached the user families directly with the fundamental goal of advancing in the improvement of the service, assessing the perceived care provision and service quality and identifying areas of improvement in the provincial residential care service. To achieve this, during the month of December 2020, the Department of Social Action carried out a telephone survey among 2,015 relatives registered as contact names for residential care home users in the region. The study is a continuation of the one carried out two years earlier.

The provincial minister for Social Action, Sergio Murillo, has highlighted that this new survey is particularly relevant due to the context of the pandemic we are experiencing. In this sense, Sergio Murillo considers that the results are an acknowledgement by relatives of all the agents involved in the provincial network of residential care homes in the region: We have asked those who have placed their trust in the provincial network of residential care homes. And 2,015 families consider that their older relatives in a situation of dependence are in good hands. I think that 8 out of 10 is a message from the families to each and every one of the professionals in the residential care network. A message acknowledging the work that, also during this difficult last year, has been carried out.

Murillo acknowledge that, like in every service, there are always areas of improvement, which means that the proposals received in this respect will be taken into account and will be useful to improve a remarkable, quality care home network available for all people in Bizkaia, he concluded.

The main results of the assessment survey received are explained as follows:

Assessment of provincial management: process and supervision

The survey evaluates different areas of Bizkaia Provincial Councils management, such as the accessibility and comprehension of information, the treatment received or the supervision that the provincial institution carries out in residential care homes.

As for the treatment received when processing a place in provincial residential care home, families rate it at 7.95 out of 10, highlighting that just 3.6% give it a score of less than 5, while 67.7% give it a score between 8 and 10.

In this section, worth highlighting is the positive evolution of the supervision work carried out in the residential care homes of the provincial network and of the care provided to residents. While in September 2018 the score, which was then the lowest in that survey, was 6.01, two years later it has risen to 7.13. More than half of the people surveyed (51.4%) rate the supervision that the Provincial council carries out in care homes at above 8 on a scale from 0 to 10. Likewise, 47.6% of the families consider that more inspections are being carried out in residential care homes and 44.3% request that more inspections continue to be carried out.

Assessment of the residential care provision

The general satisfaction with the service offered by care homes has grown with respect to the results of two years ago, from 7.87 to 8.06. Likewise, 7 out of 10 of the families surveyed give the service in residential care homes a score higher than 8 (specifically 71.8% of those surveyed) and also state that they would recommend it (72% giving a score higher than 8). Only 2.6% claim to be dissatisfied with the care provided in residential care homes (two years ago this perception rose to 3.5%).

The assessment of the care provided and of the quality of the service in residential care homes has grown in all the parameters analysed by between 2% and 4%. We refer to items such as hygiene, dressing, food; health, affective and social care, the installations, etc.

The assessment of the support provided to both users and relatives is similar (slightly higher in support for relatives; 7.76 as opposed to 7.68) and slightly better than two years ago. In the specific case of the care provided to users, the treatment by professionals is the most highly rated aspect by families, with a score of 8.37.

As for support for families, practically all the people surveyed, 94.6%, feel that they are informed about the situation of their relative by the residential care home.

Other significant aspects of the study are the perception that the residential care homes for older people are safe (8.23), with proper installations and equipment (7.84), and with good affective, social, health and psychosocial support for residents (7.62). 85.2% of those surveyed also consider that the care home has adequate dimensions and 75.1% of them state that they have chosen it freely.

In the study carried out, there is also an improvement when asked whether there is sufficient staff in the care homes, rising from 5.97 to 6.30. Linked to this, among the proposals for improvement worth noting is the need to focus on aspects such as training, particularly linked to the socio-affective dimension of care.

The improvement perceived in general by the families has one exception: there is a drop in the score for visiting time, at 7.29, when in 2018 it received a score of 8.02. The cause seems to be evident as it would derive from the pandemic context and the restrictions established to halt infections.

Assessment of provincial management within the Covid-19 context

Last of all, this time the survey carried out included a specific analysis of the Provincial Governments management of the Covid-19 health crisis, which families rate at 7.18.

Likewise, a very high percentage of the relatives of care home residents are aware of the measures that Bizkaia Provincial Council has implemented to address the Covid-19 crisis, particularly prevention measures such as testing of staff, aspects linked to the cleaning and disinfection of the care homes or the provision of PPEs, as well as setting up Specialised Community Healthcare Units for residents who test positive for Covid-19 (Birjinetxe and Unbe) or opening new direct communication channels with families.