There are approximately 35,000 care home residents across London (3% of London’s over 65 population), and nearly 200,000 social care staff (care home staff). Outer London boroughs have more care homes than inner London boroughs. If services have identified a need to increase access rates for older people, or have identified a need from care home staff, then creating better links with care homes is a natural step to address this.
A few examples where IAPT services have developed relationships with care homes are provided below.
Have worked with Priscilla Wakefield House (a local care home with 180 employees) to provide support to care home staff. IAPT staff have fortnightly virtual sessions with the care home, and have provided them with access to Silvercloud. Conversations have been framed in terms of wellbeing and resilience, rather than anxiety and stress, to reduce stigma. They have run a number of sessions at the care home, and plan to deliver to other local care homes.
The IAPT service has reached out to 40 out of 72 care homes in the borough via webinars, enlightening the care home managers on what IAPT is and the services they provide. This began in summer 2019 and there has since been increased referral from care home staff as well as the residents.
The IAPT service developed and repurposed a communications campaign called ‘You are not alone’, which was sent to care homes, that often have a difficult time accessing support:
Have developed mindfulness ‘taster sessions’ for health and social care staff, and have offered care home staff ‘building resilience’ sessions.
The IAPT service has taken a long time and significant effort to build relationships and connections with local care homes and their staff, including holding several outreach events.
Have worked with care home staff to support their mental health, as well as for the care home residents.
- Some care home staff have been reluctant to come forwards for mental health support due to a number of reasons – for example stigma, religion and worry that other people will find out.
- Assumption that care home staff have access to Wi-Fi/digital access at home, but many only get access to Wi-Fi at work, therefore video therapy consultations aren’t always possible with these staff outside of work.
- Some services have found it challenging to connect with care homes, and it has taken significant effort to do so.