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Healthwatch volunteers step up to the plate in care home visits

25/05/2017

Being able to make choices about the food you eat and what you drink is important in enjoying life.

This is as true for people who live in a care home as it is for any of us. But it isn't always as easy for care home residents to make the choices and eat the food that they want to eat, without proper help and support. 

We want to know what local care homes are doing to make sure that people can choose from a healthy varied diet that meets their needs and cultural preferences, especially when increasing frailty and health problems can make eating and drinking harder. 

Our volunteers are visiting three care homes in Cambridgeshire over the next three-months. They will be joining residents at a meal in the home and talking to them about the food and drink they get. We'll be wanting to know if they like the food, how much input they get into planning the menu, and whether they get any help that they need to eat and drink. We will also eat with the residents if the care home invites us to. 

These visits are being carried out using our power to Enter and View. This is Healthwatch's legal right to visit places that provide publicly funded health or adult social care services, to see and hear how people experience those services. Each visit is carried out by a team of volunteer Authorised Representatives.

We made the first of our visits to Rheola Care Home in St Ives earlier this week; this home has been rated as Good by the Care Quality Commission. We will be writing a public report after each of our visits with recommendations based on what the residents say, to help the home improve the food and drink options for residents. Each report will be published approximately six to eight weeks after the visit. 

If you have a story to share about life in a local care home, please tell us. It is important that we understand how care is working for people in Cambridgeshire right now. Call us on 0330 355 1285, email enquiries@healthwatchcambridgeshire.co.uk or tell us online.

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