Partnerships For Better Home Care
In 2007 we began our first experience in filming with support from Acting Up Multimedia who were experienced in community filming. John & Nick gave us hands-on technical training in using cameras and not to film people against the light!
With an enthusiastic group of KOVE volunteers: Phyllis, Carol & Edna we committed ourselves to regular sessions by practising filming with some of our fellow KOVE colleagues and friends (with their full consent!).
This was a big moment for KOVE as we gradually became more adept at using the cameras as our first attempts began to take shape. Importantly this coincided with KOVE’s milestone project: Home Care Partnerships which involved us with interviewing service users about home care that they had received which often wasn’t a good experience. We were also keen to capture positive experiences too but care workers were under a great deal of pressure to provide services within a very restricted time frame. We also broadened the project in using the fieldwork films that we had made to include discussions with service users, home care agency managers and Camden Council social care.
These initial films were a milestone for KOVE in learning new methods for our community development work trade. The films began to be used as training materials and were referenced in national and regional strategy papers as KOVE’s good practice in user involvement. Plus Camden Council commissioned us to do some more!
Claudine who was a partner and primary carer of her disabled husband was very forthcoming on film about her experience of home care for her husband and the stress that she experienced in looking after someone. Again over the time we worked with her she became a great champion for other carers.
Margery lived alone in a South Hampstead estate tower block with no step-free access for her to get out unaided. She had rarely been out for years. Visits by the ‘KOVE team’ were very much welcomed by her. In the cramped surroundings of her flat it took several months to record our conversations with Margery, going into detail of the day-to-day experience of her receiving personal care.
Overall Margery enjoyed our get togethers – we made tea, ate cake and became friends! In our piece ‘Margery’s World’ we tried to capture the sense of her experience living alone, receiving several care visits a day and where a missing piece of cutlery and not having a light switch turned on can make all the difference.
KOVE’s work developed: Home Care & Us (2008) was our way of broadening the agenda for capturing good care practice hat included the individual approach of the care worker and the support that they received from their agency. As our confidence grew in filming we learnt about the dynamics of film making – importance of building a bond with the people involved. And how sometimes with the sensitivity of the subject being filmed why it’s important to turn the camera off! Some of these later films were recorded single-handed and required a long period of negotiation.
Since we started on this project (2007) things have moved on with home care commissioning, provision and organisation as it has been subsumed under personal care budgets