What is an Enter and View visit?
Vists can either be announced or unannounced. The majority of visits will be announced by contacting the provider up to a week beforehand. This allows the provider the opportunity to ask questions.
Unannounced visits will only be conducted in exceptional circumstances, i.e. where it is the only option. Authorised Representatives will announce their arrival promptly to a senior member of staff, will wear identifiable ID badges and will state the purpose of the visit. A letter will be given to the Manager.
The purpose is to collect evidence through:
- Observing the nature and quality of the service
- Listening to the views of residents/services users and their families
- Listening to the views of staff
Service users are more open when they’re less apprehensive that complaints could negatively impact their care. This is especially important for residents of care homes whose only contacts may be fellow residents and staff as it is not uncommon that they have no visiting family.
The findings will be collated and written into a draft report with recommendations to the Care Manager who will respond within a certain timescale.
The final report will be put on the Healthwatch website in the public domain. Copies will be sent to the Local Authority.
Where there are concerns, Healthwatch will report these to the appropriate organisations, for example, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the local Overview & Scrutiny Committee and/or Healthwatch England.
What an Enter & View is not.
An inspection is done by the CQC.
Healthwatch offers a layperson’s perspective, and is regarded as a ‘critical friend’ rather than a formal in-depth inspection.
A standalone activity – it is just one tool available to Healthwatch for collecting evidence for a defined purpose. It is just part of a wider engagement strategy.