More work for carers / more carers

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
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With the changes happening to save money in the NHS and more people being released from hospital early it is the carer who will have to cope. The Government is stressing the fact that people want to be treated at home (care in the community) unfortunatly with cash strapped PCT`s it is the carer who has to cope and phone around for help. I am sure there are many stories. So for those of us representing carers at NHS trusts, PCT meetings and local government boards it is becoming more essential to say the mantra `But what about Carers`and ask what care in the community.
Thanks for that Margaret. Can I ask what response you get when you say 'how have you considered carers?' in hospital discharge, keeping people at home, treatment in the community? Have you ever been offered training -e.g lifting /handling, medication, or told what to do in a crisis?

Has anyone else got any examples around the way that the NHS reacts to carers - good and bad?
thanks
Clare
We get a lot of telephone calls from people who are told their loved one is being discharged but no action has been taken to assess the needs of the loved one, let alone the carer - I'd guess at 3 calls a week on average.
Like everything it is a slow process. However in North Somerset Crossroads working with North Somerset Council and Weston Area Health Trust have produced a hospital admissions guide for carers . The idea can from carers at the carers involvement network. It can be viewed on the Weston Area Health Trust web site.
I should add we are about to give it a tweek for the next reprint.
thanks for those examples.

A carer recently recommended St Thomas's in London to me as a good example of discharging the person from hospital, in a way that made good preparations for the person coming home. A specific person- usually a nurse takes responsibility for liaising with the person, including plenty of contact with the carer to make sure they had everything they needed, followed up by close contact in the days and weeks when the person is discharged to make sure the carer is coping, and if they need extra help or support, the co-ordinator arranges that. Not bad...

Some of the big hospitals in Birmingham are also pretty good at respecting and responding to carers when they accompany the person they care for into hospital, thanks to the intervention of a carer who managed to get a carers policy agreed outlining what carers should expect. There has also been plenty of training for nursing staff in carer awareness and how to involve the carer properly in the person's care and treatment.

Any others out there?
Clare
I was one of the people who carried out some reserach in 2001 on this topic called "Health's Forgotten Partners" that included a good practice checklist- you can read it here

http://www.carersuk.org/Policyandpracti ... 1095433349

At some point afterwards the Department of Health issued all hospitals with a good practice guidance ("Discharge workbook" I think ) that was actually very good on carers. It said all the right things and quoted extensively from Carers UK's work and others. But as with all guidance - it's only good if it's put into practice!

Matt
Just to follow on from the previous postings,some may be interested in the following link,it ties in with the Dignity in Care.Its a very good read.

http://www.scie.org.uk/publications/pra ... /index.asp

Rosemary
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thanks Rosemary that's great

SCIE [Social Care Institute for Excellence] kind of think tank which many professionals use as a library for ideas and good practice - have also just published some very relevant guides about user and carer participation in services, including a case for why its needed and the benefits.

1. The participation of adult service users, including older people, in developing social care
www.scie.org.uk/publications/practicegu ... /index.asp

2. Participation]www.scie.org.uk/publications/resourcegu ... /index.asp[/url]

Something to wave at local authorities and ask them what they are doing to promote carers getting involved in local services?

Clare