Support for carers

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Summary of report content

With an ongoing focus on carers in Solihull and gathering feedback from local carers who told us their experiences. Healthwatch Solihull chose to explore support for carers who are caring for someone over 75 as one of their priority areas for the year. They organised focus groups which 19 people attended.

Many of the carers spoke of struggling to get GP appointments in some circumstances whether for the person they care for or for themselves. Being recognised as a Carer with their GP was something that participants felt was important and that there was a need for a system that recognised them as a carer when they were making an appointment. However, it was largely felt that even when they had informed their GP that they were a Carer by way of a form, their respective GP practices had not then used that information or had lost it.

Participants generally felt that they were not involved in the decision making around the care of the person that they care for. They felt that they were excluded by professionals rather than included and that their experiences of trying to tell professionals about how the person that they care for is on a day to day basis was not listened to.

Although participants spoke about care assessments for the people that they care for, there was very little mention of them having had their own Carers Assessments. Only one person mentioned a Carers Assessment, and this was in relation to having had a long wait for an assessment and being given misinformation on how long they might have to wait.

Some of the participants said that the person that they care for also had domiciliary care, either funded by the local authority or self-funded. Those that spoke about domiciliary care told of late or missed calls and how this meant that they could not rely on the care provision. One spoke of how a lack of flexibility in the times of calls meant that they may have to give up their paid work outside the home.

Participants spoke about how if the person that they care for was a self-funder there was a lack of support. When they tried to access any additional support in their care, they were generally told that as self-funders there was no assistance available.

When participants spoke about their own health there was a recognition that caring can have a detrimental impact on their health. Participants felt that there was a lack of recognition and support around their mental wellbeing concerns.

All said that things across services are improving. They were frequently asked for feedback from different people and would like to see changes. All felt the new Solihull Council Carers Strategy accurately reflected their views

The report includes 7 recommendations to deal with the issues raised by the carers. The report contains responses from providers.

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General details

Report title 
Support for carers
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Solihull
Date of publication 
Friday, 30 April, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Cost of services
Integration of services
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Local Council
Primary research method used 
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
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Home care / domiciliary care

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? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
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.