Summary of report contentHealthwatch 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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Carers experiences of Connecting Care
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
Communication between staff and patients
Consent to care and treatment
Continuity of care
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Other information of note about this report
Healthwatch reference number
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
How was the information collected?
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced?
Primary care services
Secondary care services
Care of the elderly
End of life care
Types of long term conditions
Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
Another long-term condition
Cancer in the last 5 years
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report
Number of people who shared their views
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?
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?