OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY. Institute of Public Care, CARERS BUCKS
Reports on a pilot project, funded by the Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group, which sought to help GPs identify previously unknown carers and improve carer experience and wellbeing outcomes. The pilot offered carers a free health and wellbeing check with a carer support worker and a social prescription to access services provided by Carers Bucks where appropriate. The health and wellbeing check used the 'Carers Star' covering seven outcome areas: health, the caring role, managing at home, time for yourself, how you feel, finances, and work. A total of 203 carers attended the carers clinics. Approximately a quarter of carers were caring for someone with dementia and a quarter were caring for someone with a physical disability. Analysis of comments received by carers attending the clinic identified three key themes: carers appreciated the clinics because they felt it was rare for anyone to ‘care’ for them; carers felt listened to; and received useful information about support they didn’t know existed. The paper maps learning from the project against the Institute of Public Care commissioning cycle and makes recommendations for commissioners.
BUNYAN Ann-Marie, WOODALL James, RAINE Gary
Highlights outcomes and learning from a programme to support carers to look after their own physical health and emotional wellbeing, delivered by the charity Carers Leeds. The programme provides one-to-one support to encourage carers to eat more healthily, be more physically active, cut down on alcohol and smoking, manage stress and anxiety and be more socially connected. Health and Wellbeing Support Workers work with carers to help them set and prioritise their health goals, providing carers with the tools and guidance to be able to make changes. The evaluation aimed to establish the impact of the Programme on the health and wellbeing of carers, examine the experiences of carers engaged in the Programme, and provide training and support to the Carers Leeds staff to build capacity for future self-evaluation. It a workshop to develop an understanding of the programme’s Theory of Change; analysis of monitoring data, including carers evaluation forms; telephone interviews with service users, and analysis of Support Worker' reflections on delivering the programme. The evaluation found evidence that the Programme provides meaningful support to carers, which has a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. Positive benefits for carers included reduced social isolation, increased confidence, improved mental wellbeing, improved diet and physical activity levels. Individuals who were previously unable to distinguish themselves as a carer were also able to recognise how vital it is to take of care of their own health. The report also highlights learning for future projects.