Care Watch: Evaluating lay inspectors for home care

The project trains and supports lay people to inspect home care services for older people in Lewisham and Southwark. People and their families can refer themselves to Age UK for an inspection or can be referred by local statutory or third sector organisations. On each visit, Lay Inspectors will meet the older person one-to-one to discuss with them their views and concerns on the quality of care that they are receiving and their home. Problems raised during the inspection will be referred to local authority care teams.

As well as undertaking lay inspections, the scheme includes a six weekly forum for lay visitors to share experiences and provide peer support, and a forum for home care workers to discuss issues affecting the local care workforce and the quality of care.

The evaluation will assess the effectiveness of the Care Watch project. It will look at the training and support process for inspectors; the process of inspection; the extent to which inspection makes a difference, in addressing (a) specific problems and (b) changing local authority/provider practices more broadly; and broader issues in the local care economy, raised by the lay inspectors and home care workers.


November 2012 - October 2015


Esmee Fairbairn Foundation


Catherine Needham


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