Support for unpaid carers in Hackney 'not working'
Support for unpaid carers in Hackney is too fragmented, 'not working' and needs to be improved, according to a new report from the Health in Hackney scrutiny commission.
The report is based on the commission's year-long investigation into services for Hackney carers who provide unpaid support for loved-ones, friends and family who are disabled or unwell.
Commissioners have called for better respite care, earlier dementia diagnosis and more efforts to reach 'hidden' carers.
Their report also recommends improvements to carers' needs assessments and better links to support carers with legal and housing issues.
The scrutiny inquiry was prompted by a 'disappointing' 2016-17 survey of unpaid carers in Hackney that found falling levels of satisfaction with their quality of life, opportunities for social contact and access to useful information and advice.
Commissioners also wanted to find out how well local services were implementing support following new rights for carers delivered under the Care Act 2014 which put carers on an equal footing to those that they care for.
More than 20,000 carers in City and Hackney provide some kind of unpaid support to relatives or friends who cannot cope without their help due to illness, disability or frailty.
Around 3,000 of these carers are on the City and Hackney carers' register.
During their investigation, councillors made 10 site visits, talking to local support groups and organisations including East London Foundation Trust and the Alzheimer's Society.
The commission heard how the current model for delivering carers support was too frgamented.
Hackney's adult social care managers told the commission they were considering options for a new model of carers support which they hope to implement in autumn 2018.
Read the full scrutiny report on carers here.