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.