Summary of report content
Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees engaged with local unpaid carers to find out their views and experiences of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, and how this impacted on their lives and their health and wellbeing. They spoke to 31 carers in total.
The Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health and wellbeing of unpaid carers due to changes to the support and contact from health and social care services and the demands of the caring role. Attempts to navigate the social care system and concerns about the welfare of the person that they are caring for has also had a negative impact on the mental health of carers.
Carers have had positive experiences of health and social care services and have valued the communication, regular contact and the quality of care that those services have provided.
Visiting restrictions at some of the care homes in the Stockton-on-Tees area have been confusing and conflicting. Facilitation of contact and communication at some care homes has been lacking, leaving carers feeling worried and helpless, and not knowing if their loved one is well.
It is important that carers have regular contact with health and social care services to help support those that they are caring for. Carers need to feel valued, and it is important that they have someone to talk to.
Receiving support and information from local services has helped carers cope day-to-day. Carers need support and guidance, with information that is easy and clear to understand, and to know that there are a range of support services (especially mental health services) available to them and the person that they are caring for.
The report contains 6 recommendations to tackle the concerns identified.