The work of Hertfordshire and West Essex STP (Sustainability and Transformation Partnership) to identify and support unpaid carers in the area has been recognised with a national award.
The STP won an award from the Health Service Journal (HSJ) for System Led Support for Carers on November 21st 2018. Carers in Hertfordshire are pleased to partner with the STP, working with local councils and NHS organisations to develop and support new ways of supporting unpaid carers.
Unpaid family and friend carers – people looking after someone who is ill, disabled, elderly or misuses substances – make up 10% of the population of Hertfordshire and west Essex. Tim Anfilogoff, Head of Community Resilience for Herts Valleys NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the STP lead for carers’ improvement work, said: “We need to ensure carers get the advice and help they need. With Carers’ Champions working in GP practices and social care, libraries, community nursing and even the fire service helping to identify and support those caring for someone, we are building truly carer-aware communities. As well as making sure that carers get flu jabs and health checks from GP surgeries we can also help carers access detailed advice, practical help, support from social care or the opportunity to meet with other carers locally for a cup of tea and a chat to break down their sense of isolation.”
Steve Delaney, Interim Chief Executive of Carers in Hertfordshire, said: “We believe the HSJ Award reflects the hard work and partnership input into new ways of working which make a real difference to unpaid carers’ lives.”
Through partnership working there has been:
• An increase in registrations with Carers in Hertfordshire, with carers identified earlier in their caring role.
• A growth in the number of carers accessing health checks and flu jabs. In west Hertfordshire the number of carers taking up GP health checks has increased by 40% in the last three years to 2,023.
• Development of a ‘social prescribing’ approach in Hertfordshire, such as the Community Navigators scheme – providing one-to-one information and support to vulnerable residents in their homes and in hospital to help improve their health and wellbeing.
• A launch of a young carers’ app, developed in partnership with young carers, East and North Herts NHS Trust, students at North Herts College and ourselves.
• Services that have a measurable impact on carers, such as our mentoring and training opportunities, which have resulted in 92% of carers saying they felt less isolated and 90% stating they felt more positive or less stressed.
Steve added: “We welcome the progress that has been made to identify and support more carers and the strong partnerships that have made this possible. We recognise that there is much more to do in order to improve carers’ experiences of health and care services. We hope this award will be a catalyst for more change that addresses carers’ concerns. We will continue to work closely with the NHS and social services locally to make sure that carers have a voice in shaping services.”
If you’re a carer and need support you can get in touch with Carers in Hertfordshire by calling 01992 58 69 69.