What was the issue you were addressing or working on?
The early identification of carers in order to provide information and support before the caring role begins to have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of the carer.
The aim was to identify carers at the point of hospital discharge, and to provide information and support to the carers of older people in Falkirk at this vital time at the start of their caring journey or when their caring role was changing.
What you did?
In January 2013 the Carer Support Worker was appointed and received relevant induction and training.
From March 2013:
- Carer Support Worker (CSW) has been located at Falkirk Community Hospital, based with, and working closely with, the ReaCH Team
- CSW has produced a leaflet promoting carers support at hospital discharge and disseminated this to professionals and carers
- CSW has worked closely with health workers involved in hospital discharge to raise awareness and promote the early identification of carers
CSW has provided one to one support to individual carers as required, often in their own home.
What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?
Initial awareness raising work in the hospital setting, has led to referrals to this service by health and community care professionals including OTs, Physiotherapists, Discharge Co-ordinators and Social Workers.
In response to referrals made to date, the CSW has provided information and support to 40 individual carers around the point of hospital discharge through 71 one to one contacts (as at September 2013).
Carers have been supported to access help with specific issues relating to hospital discharge as well as support in more general areas such as Welfare Benefits and Community Care Services, being signposted where appropriate to other organisations. Carers are made aware of their right to a Carers Assessment and provided with information about carer support and training available at the Carers Centre or in local communities.
Ongoing and follow up support is provided after the cared-for person has been discharged from hospital, and, where appropriate carers have the opportunity to complete a carer support plan which allows for discussion of the carer’s main issues or concerns and how these can be addressed going forward.
Following this initial period of intensive support from the CSW, carers can access future support if required through the Carers Centre.
By offering a range of support from the start of the caring journey, and access to ongoing support in future, the following outcomes are being achieved for carers:
- Improved emotional and physical wellbeing
- Increased confidence in managing the caring role
- The ability to combine caring responsibilities with work, social, leisure and learning opportunities
- Involvement in planning and shaping of services for the cared-for person and the carer.
Contacts - to find out more
Agnes McMillan, Centre Manager, the Princess Royal Trust Carers Centre,