Background: Despite the provision of the policy for Ward-based Primary Healthcare Outreach Teams, which requires home-based care workers to be supported by different categories of health professionals, home-based care workers continue to experience challenges during service provision in the communities. Home-based care workers form an integral part of the Ward-based Primary Healthcare Outreach Teams that form part of the streams of primary healthcare re-engineering. The aim of the study was to explore and describe the experiences of home-based care workers (HBCWs) when rendering services in the communities of Northern Tshwane district in Gauteng province and Madibeng district in the North West province. Methods: The study design was qualitative, exploratory and descriptive. Purposive sampling was used from the population of HBCWs in Gauteng and North West. Focus group interviews were conducted. Tesch’s data analysis method was used. Themes and subthemes were identified by the researcher and co-coder, and these were summarised into subjects that were interrelated. Results: Diverse experiences of participants emerged. These experiences included lack of human and material resources, poor funding, lack of knowledge, lack of support and respect and the need for psychological support. Conclusion: There is a need for a collaborative approach amongst the National Department of Health, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and HBCWs in patient care. Policies and support structures should be strengthened or reformed to promote comprehensive and integrated care to sustain HBCWs.
- Home-based care
- Home-based care workers
- Ward-based Primary Healthcare Outreach Teams