What do carers need and want?

Categories: Care.

The listening exercise will involve a range of of mechanisms (social media, existing networks and forums and direct emails) with the aim of engaging with carers of every age and from every aspect in society.

Over the next five weeks, NHS England and NHS Improving Quality will be asking a series of questions, and inviting carers to join the conversation, sharing thoughts, comments, and experiences. Questions will include:

  • How can the health service help you feel recognised, valued and included when caring for someone?
  • How did health staff help signpost you to relevant information and advice when you first started caring for someone, and at key stages and transition points of your caring role?
  • How can health services best tailor support for you and your family particularly when caring for someone?
  • How have health services or professionals helped you look after your own physical health and emotional well-being particularly in your role as a carer?

Carers can get involved via Twitter, by following the NHS IQ twitter feed (@NHSIQ) and join the conversation using the hashtag #NHSThinkCarer. There is also an online questionnaire and feedback can be sent by email to enquiries@nhsiq.nhs.uk

The listening exercise will feed into a workshop in December, at which a series of ‘commitments for action’ will be developed, which NHS England will take forward.

To help launch the listening exercise, Dame Philippa Russell, Chair of the Standing Commission on Carers, has written a blog post reflecting on her experience as a carer.

Hospices working with carers

At the Help the Hospices conference earlier this week, the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care launched a report on how to work with and support family carers. The report recommended that family carers receive information and access to updated knowledge about how to provide care, that they be offered regular assessment of their needs, as well as respectful and compassionate care.

It calls for a shift in the culture of hospice care to ensure family carers are central in their relationship with patients, and are seen as worthy beneficiaries of support both during and after the death of the patient.

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