A report of the experiences of young carers in Bexley Borough

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Summary of report content

This report presents the findings of a small snapshot study into the experiences and views of 27 young carers in Bexley aged 8-16 years of age. The report is not an evaluation of the services provided by Bexley Young Carers, a service run by IMAGO, but of the experiences of a small number of young carers (YC’s). Healthwatch Bexley (Healthwatch) held three engagements with YC’s who attend the Bexley Young Carers, Chill Club (CC) a service run by IMAGO. These were in the form of an initial focus group (n14) which was followed by two fun evenings, each attended by 13 YC’s, where the YC’s were able to play, tell us about their experiences and take part in different games and activities. A representative from the MIND carers group joined Healthwatch on the final visit to chat about taking time out and feelings. As part of the Bexley Young Carers service provided by IMAGO, all YC’s are assessed. Those who are at a high to medium risk of inappropriate or excessive caring are supported through1:1 sessions and attend CC, depending on their individual needs. However, CC is only a small part of the support offered to YC’s by Bexley Young Carers. An over view of the Bexley Young Carers service run by IMAGO can be found in Appendix 1. To explore the experiences of the harder to reach YC’s, a member of the Bexley Young Carers team kindly team took a short questionnaire to 6 of the YC’s they visited in the school setting. Healthwatch also met with representatives from Bexley Moorings who run a young person’s befriending service, they were kindly able to provide us with 3 anonymous case studies of YC’s who choose to access their services. A further 5 anonymous case studies have kindly been provided by Bexley Young Carers to demonstrate the range of support they provide to YC’s. The key findings included for many of the YC’s that Healthwatch engaged with, attending CC was the only activity outside of school that they were able to take part in. They said it was easier to talk to other YC’s at the group as they had a shared understanding of being a young carer. 83% of YC’s told Healthwatch they provided or sometimes provided care during the night and believed that caring did not affect their school life. However, 69% told Healthwatch they were late or sometimes late for school with 62% never or only sometimes being able to complete their homework on time.

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General details

Report title 
A report of the experiences of young carers in Bexley Borough
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bexley
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 1 August, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 August, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 1 August, 2018
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Access
Communication between staff and patients
Engagement
Health promotion
Information providing
Public involvement
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Support
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-7011

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Community services 
Other

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
19
Age group 
All people under the age of 18
Gender 
All
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
N/A
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Yes
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No
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.