This project has now come to an end, but you can read here about what we did and what we hoped to achieve. Much of the work continues through our Community Engagement function.
Newark & Sherwood CVS has a long-standing role and reputation of supporting and working with local carers’ organisations and groups. The Carer Friendly Communities project aims to support the wider health and social care community to understand what it means to be ‘carer friendly’ and how to achieve this.
Building on work already being done, we will be working initially with GP practices to help them adopt ‘carer friendly’ approaches to what they do.
What does this really mean?
Through the project, we will check that GP practices:
- Have access to and provide information so that carers know what help and support is available locally.
- Are able to provide advice and support so that carers can access the help they need – whether this is direct from the practice or through referral to Nottinghamshire County Council Carer Support Service or to the Carers Hub.
- Hold and maintain a Carers Register. When a practice knows that someone is a carer it makes it easier for them to share information with the carer about the person they look after. It also means they can provide the right kind of help and support to the carer when it’s needed.
- Respect and listen to carers as expert care partners, who should be actively involved in care planning, reviews and shared decision making.
- Have an identified Carers Champion. Ideally this will be someone like a receptionist or practice nurse. They will become a source of knowledge and advice within the practice about, and for, carers.
- Actively encourage and support carer involvement and engagement at all levels within the practice.
- Recognise carers as individuals, not only as carers, acknowledging the importance of carers maintaining their own health and well-being, encouraging regular health checks and enabling access to support when needed.
- Are able to identify early those carers who may be more vulnerable or who are at key transition points for example young carers or carers aged over 75.
How will we do this?
- Work closely with GP practices to:
- co-ordinate and share good practice
- make sure they have the right information and knowledge available for carers
- facilitate continuous learning and development around carers issues
- Encourage GP practices to:
- routinely provide the Nottinghamshire County Council carers information pack to carers as they are identified
- use the templates and tools developed by the Carers Hub to identify carers and evaluate what carers think about how the practice can best support them
- implement NHS England’s carers toolkit and to ‘think carer’ across the local health and social care system
- Liaise with, and when appropriate work in partnership with, the Carers Hub and the Carers Federation to aid consistent and equitable provision of support and information for carers.