Warwickshire Carers’ Support Services 12/11/15
Work has been ongoing to redesign Warwickshire Carers Support Services. A joint strategic carer’s needs assessment has been completed to provide insight into the unpaid care provision across Warwickshire. A comprehensive engagement exercise has been carried out in order to support the planning, co-design and implementation of:
- A refreshed Warwickshire Joint Carers Strategy
- An outcome focused carers support offer
What people told us?
The engagement exercise elicited a number of key themes with regard to the issues carers are facing and the support that they require to enable them to balance their caring roles and maintain their desired quality of life.
Theme 1 – Supporting people to identify themselves as carers early in their caring journey.
It was widely reported that many informal carers do not actually see themselves as carers; rather they see themselves as a husband, wife, family member, etc. Carers felt that they needed support in recognising they are also (or will soon become) an informal carer and this is particularly pertinent early on in a carer’s journey.
The term ‘carer’ is not something they identify with and consideration should be given to the language used when attempting to reach out and engage with carers.
Theme 2 – Signposting and referring: Provision of information and enabling carers to access the support they need.
Feedback from carers indicates that many carers are not aware of what support is available to them, especially early on in their caring journey. Carers reported that there were a number of key ‘touch points’ throughout the caring journey at which they should be supported to both recognise themselves as a carer, and be signposted to available sources of information, advice and support.
Theme 3 – The service support offer: ‘People can access the right services’
Feedback from carers regarding the kind to support they require can be separated into two distinct types of support:
- Support to access and coordinate care and support for the cared for
- Support services for the carer
Many carers indicate that they feel their own needs are successfully met if the cared for person’s care and support needs are adequately met. However, carers told us that in order to ensure that the cared for person’s needs are adequately met many carers are spending a great deal of time trying to navigate complex systems in order to co-ordinate care and support.
In terms of provision of support direct to carers, carers told us that they required the following support to enable them to balance their caring roles maintain a good quality of life:
- Replacement care – break from caring / facilitate access to carers support
- Information and advice
- Practical support to carry out day to day tasks (e.g. with household tasks, help with form filling) – frees up time to focus on caring or allow carer to take a break
- Training – to help us to confidently care
- Emotional Support / Peer Support
- Personal budgets / direct payments – control over the support we receive
Theme 4 – Accessibility of support services: ‘People can access services delivered in the right way, at the right time’
Feedback from carers known to us reveals that the main barriers to accessing and engaging with existing carers support service are:
- being unable to leave cared-for person.
- time of day.
- location and transport.
This indicates that accessibility of services is key issues for many carers.
Theme 5 – Assessment and Review:
Many carers were not aware of their entitlement to request an assessment and there was some confusion as to what a carer’s assessment was.
The key messages from Carers have been incorporated into a series of recommendations that will presented to WCBT programme Board on December 15th and once agreed translated into action through the redesigned carers support services and Warwickshire Joint Carers Strategy.