The Hidden Needs of Carers in Newham

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Summary of report content

Between October 2019 and February 2020, Healthwatch Newham engaged with 57 carers using a combination of online questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups.

Three in five carers had a carer’s assessment. In contrast, 40% either did not receive a carer’s assessment and if they did, they did not receive a follow-up from services. Barriers in arranging a carer’s assessment included lack of response from the Adult and Social Care team or being denied the assessment. During interviews and focus groups, 26% of carers confused the carer’s assessment with the needs’ assessment.

Most carers who attend peer support groups thought that it is the best place to find out current information for themselves and the people they care for. Some mentioned that the carer’s assessment did not provide most of the information they learned by attending such groups.

Fourteen percent of carers revealed during interviews that they do not have an emergency plan in place for the person they look after. Carers find this topic difficult to talk about.

 Most carers had a good experience of accessing primary care services, especially when provided by an attentive health care professional. Some carers complained that doctors do not involve them in the care of the person they look after. Many parent carers reported staff do not use hospital passports for patients with communication difficulties.

There were 8 recommendations about identification of carers, improving the carer’s assessment, how information should be provided, improving awareness of mental health services for carers, engage carers in planning services, training for staff and support for peer support groups.

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General details

Report title 
The Hidden Needs of Carers in Newham
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Newham
Date of publication 
Friday, 30 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 July, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 29 February, 2020
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Health inequalities
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
Focus group
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 
Inpatient care
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Adult social care
Community services 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
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? 
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? 
Not known

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.