Three in every 5 people in the UK are destined to become a carer at some point in their lives. Although the role of a carer can be greatly rewarding and deeply fulfilling, it can also leave carers mentally and physically exhausted, increasing their risk of both mental and physical health problems compared to non-caregivers.
It’s estimated that carers save the UK economy £87 billion a year in potential costs. There is increasing recognition across the healthcare economy of the vital role this group of people play in our society.
In a response to this Alexin Healthcare CIC developed a pilot carer’s clinic service with the help and support of Derbyshire Carers Association. The core objectives being to set up and run carer's clinics throughout all southern Derbyshire GP Practices with the aim of:
• Supporting carer’s to care effectively and safely
• Supporting carer’s to look after their own health and well-being
• Supporting carer’s to fulfil their education and employment potential
• Supporting carer's to have a life of their own alongside caring responsibilities
The Carers Clinics are run monthly at each participating GP Practice by the local Carer Support Worker. The Carer Support Worker will see carers at a face-to-face appointment, on the telephone or even arrange a home visit if they struggle to leave the person they care for. They will see anyone who feels they would like an appointment, not just those patients who are registered at a particular practice.
Areas where Carer Support Workers can offer support include:
• 1-1 support
• Carer Assessments
• Personal Budgets
• Emergency Planning
• Funding opportunities
• Information and Advice
• Accessing Blue Badges
• Local carer support groups
• Help accessing respite care services
• Help for the person being cared for
• Signposting to health specific organisations
• Telephone support
• Training and Events
Benefits for the GP Practice include:
• Clinicians are able to sign-post carers to a named Care Support Worker within the practice.
• No ‘referral’ is required for the clinic, the individual simply books in at reception.
• Clinicians feel they have something to offer the carers they identify.
• Patients gain easy access to DCA services which are local to them.
• Better team working between primary care, care-coordinators and the charity sector to improve services to patients.
• Carer support service which ignores practice boundaries by allowing any carer to access the service, regardless of their registered practice.
• Better emergency planning for the carer in case of their own ill health which may help reduce unplanned admissions for the cared for.
• Better support of carers allowing for better mental and physical health outcomes.
• Opportunity for GP practices to collaborate and share resources.
Resultant from the pilot programme Alexin are pleased to confirm that carer’s clinics now form part of the Carer Information, Advice, Assessment and Support Service contract. This contract has been awarded to Derbyshire Carers Association following the joint procurement process led by Derbyshire County Council in conjunction with the Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Should our Southern Derbyshire member practices wish to take advantage of this service they need to contact Derbyshire Carers Association.