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Your spotlight on local services

Calling all carers: tell us your experiences

03/11/2017

Healthwatch Hackney wants to hear from unpaid carers about support they receive and issues they experience.

We are keen to get feedback on services carers use, help they get with their caring role and their perspectives on dealing with health and care services on behalf of the person they care for.

We will use local carers’ stories to compile a report for Health in Hackney’s scrutiny commission which this year is investigating ‘Supporting Adult Carers’ as their main topic.

The scrutiny inquiry launched its investigation in October following ‘disappointing’ results from Hackney’s Council’s 2016/17 statutory survey of carers.

The survey revealed declining carer satisfaction rates across key areas compared with survey results two years earlier.

At the scrutiny commission’s October meeting, Hackney GPs highlighted difficulties arranging respite care, especially for patients who care for people with dementia.

In a report to the commission, they said Hackney lacked dementia crisis services, especially out-of-hours.

Dr Rhiannon England, a local GP and programme director for City and Hackney clinical commissioning group (CCG) told the meeting: ‘We are not clear what carers in Hackney get from a carers’ assessment. There’s no data available.’

‘There is a lack of feedback when GPs refer carers for assessments. They used to get respite but not sure if still the case.’

A carer is defined as someone who carers unpaid for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, mental health problems or addiction cannot cope without their support.

An estimated 18,000 adults in Hackney identify as carers providing between 10 and 70 hours unpaid support a week.

The Care Act 2014 strengthened carers’ rights and recognition in the care system, putting them on an equal footing to those they care for.

Local authorities now have legal requirement to take steps to reduce or delay the need for care and support for carers.

Councils are meant to provide information, advice and support planning for carers as well as the people they care for.

Want to tell us what it is like being a carer in Hackney? Call us on 020 7923 8358 or email info@healthwatchhackney.co.uk.

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