Carers experiences of Connecting Care

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Wakefield supported Niche Health and Social Care Consulting in conducting an independent evaluation of carers' experiences of Connecting Care (formerly known as Care Closer to Home) commissioned by Wakefield MBC Public Health. 53 carers were interviewed between July 2015 and April 2016 to explore areas such as the support received by the carer, the impact of the caring role on the carers own physical and mental health, the access to services provided and what they felt could improve their experience. Connecting Care is an integrated team set up with aim of helping and supporting carers to enable them to care for longer. These Connecting Care Teams are made up of community matrons, physiotherapists, occuptaitonal therapists, social care staff, Age UK workers, Carers Wakefield workers and pharmacists. Due to the lack of a shared patient/service user record, carers’ contact details might only be known to one of the services involved. In some cases, carers’ details were not recorded at all. Healthwatch Wakefield were able to draw on their ongoing review of service users which provided the majority of the carers who consented to take part in the project. Healthwatch Wakefield understanding is that the Connecting Care service has been designed, for the most part, to offer intensive and rapid support and interventions, and to set things up so everyone is supported - the focus being on rehabilitation and crisis intervention. However, for many of the interviewees the likely future is one of worsening health and decline. Elderly people will become older and frailer, and people with conditions such as dementia and terminal disease face a clear future of declining health. For some carers, looking after people such as these, there also seemed to be an absence of planning for the inevitable declining future of service users which left some them (the carer) struggling and frustrated. The impact all of the above is likely to be that carers are more likely to struggle on until their own health is further damaged or to phone 999 for help and end up with their loved one as an inpatient. Unnecessary hospital admissions are one of the things that Connecting Care is seeking to reduce and therefore developing an approach for agreeing a plan with carers which is explicit about what to do if things deteriorate (for them or the service user) would seem to be a useful way forward. In addition, making short and longer term plans and expectations clear to carers would be helpful as some struggled to understand why some services were not available to them or were only available for certain periods of time.

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General details

Report title 
Carers experiences of Connecting Care
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Wakefield
Date of publication 
Monday, 3 December, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 July, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 30 April, 2016
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Consent to care and treatment
Continuity of care
Health inequalities
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Patient records
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Other (please specify)
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Niche Health and Social Care Consulting
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Care of the elderly
End of life care
Social care services 
Adult social care
After care
Day care (social care services)
Home care / domiciliary care
Community services 
Continuing care

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of long term conditions 
Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
Another long-term condition
Cancer in the last 5 years
Heart disease
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.