Published 19th February 2018 by

The needs of unpaid carers across the county have been highlighted in a jointly commissioned survey which shows a clear need for more information and support.

A survey by Carers Voice Norfolk & Waveney and Healthwatch Norfolk, the independent representatives for carers and patients in Norfolk, collected in-depth feedback from over 300 local carers.

Amongst other things, local carers highlighted the importance for more understanding, recognition and reassurance, as they felt they were being left to struggle alone. Only 37% said they felt able to manage their health and wellbeing, with many local carers unaware of where to go for information and support.

A new carer-led service, Carers Matter Norfolk, has been developed in response to the findings from the survey. A report for the survey has been published, which outlines five main recommendations for Carers Voice Norfolk & Waveney to take on in their role as the independent voice for carers within this new service. The five recommendations are:

  1. Respite needs to be recognised to a greater extent in the cared for assessment and personal budget
  2. All carers to be supported to have plans for the future and emergencies
  3. Working with home care providers to improve outcomes for unpaid carers
  4. Navigation around the system to be improved
  5. Monitoring and evaluation of outcomes

Sharon Brooks, Chair of Carers Voice Norfolk & Waveney, who co-produced the report, said:

Our previous research showed that carers were concerned about the lack of information and support that was available to them. This latest study details exactly what local carers want and need, in their own words and it is our job to ensure their needs are met.

Alex Stewart, CEO of Healthwatch Norfolk added:

Healthwatch Norfolk is very grateful to all the local carers who took time to take part in this survey. We cannot improve services without their feedback and we will continue to work with Carers Voice Norfolk & Waveney, Carers Matter Norfolk and other stakeholders to champion the needs of carers across Norfolk.

Anyone can provide feedback to Healthwatch on any local health and social care service at any time by visiting www.healthwatchnorfolk.co.uk

This includes pharmacies, GPs and NHS dentists, as well as all hospital, mental health, community health, care homes and other social care services.

For further comment, please contact Sharon Brooks, Chair of Carers Voice Norfolk & Waveney:
Telephone: 07506 768 405
Email: sharon.brooks@carersmatternorfolk.org

Notes

A carer is someone who provides unpaid support and care on a regular basis to a relative or friend who, due to frailty, illness or disability, would not be able to live independently without them. Carers are not paid care workers.

Carers Voice Norfolk & Waveney represents the 99,419 unpaid carers in Norfolk (Carers UK, 2015). It is a user-led charitable organisation that exists to give carers a voice about the service they receive from adult health and social care and carers’ services.

Carers Matter Norfolk is the new service commissioned by Norfolk County Council and the five NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in 2017, tasked with responding to the increasing needs of unpaid carers. For further information about the support available from Carers Matter Norfolk and other services, contact the Carers Matter Advice Line Team on freephone 0800 083 1148.

For more information about Carers Matter Norfolk, please contact Kevin Vaughan.

Kevin Vaughan – Service Manager 01603 883812 / 07384 257530 kevin.vaughan@carersmatternorfolk.org
Website: www.carersmatternorfolk.org.uk
Twitter: @CarersMatterNfk
Facebook: facebook.com/CarersMatterNorfolk