NHS Commitment to Carers

In May 2014, the NHS published their commitment to carers to give them the recognition and support they need to provide invaluable care for loved ones.

With 1.4 million people providing 50 or more carer hours a week for a partner, friend or family member, they make a significant contribution to society and the NHS.

There are 37 commitments spread across eight key priorities which include raising the profile of carers, education and training, person-centred coordinated care and primary care, that have been developed in partnership with carers, patients, partner organisations and care professionals over the past few months.

You can also read a blog from Martin McShane, Director for improving the quality of life for people with Long Term Conditions at NHS England, where he talks about how he has been humbled by the standard of care provided by carers.

This short animation will give the viewer an insight into the lives of young carers and hopefully encourage young carers to take steps to seek support. The video is intended to raise awareness of the challenges and issues faced by young carers. The initial idea came from Meg, one of our young carer Health Champions, whilst attending one of our residential sessions.

Supporting carers in general practice: a framework of quality markers

This resource has been developed to support practices who want to improve identification of and support for unpaid carers, and mirrors the areas the Care Quality Commission (CQC) looks at when considering key line of enquiry – C2: involving people in decisions about their care.

The Quality Markers are not an additional mandatory requirement. Participation by GP practices is voluntary and can be promoted and supported at Integrated Care System, CCG, Primary Care Network (PCN) or individual practice level.

We have developed this resource by bringing together the support that carers have told us they require from General Practice with existing and recognised good practice in the identification of and support for unpaid carers.

By shining a light on good practice, the aim has been to develop a resource that will help practices demonstrate clearly how they are meeting existing requirements, as well as encouraging and enthusing practices to be more consistent in supporting carers.

The CQC has endorsed the framework as a model of good practice for practices to follow and, where a practice can demonstrate it is using the scheme to support carers, the CQC inspection report will highlight this.

We are interested in working with practices to develop an online platform for the quality markers. If you would like to be involved in this work please contact us at england.PEAdmin@nhs.net.

Supporting commissioners

NHS England has published ‘Commissioning for Carers: Principles and resources to support effective commissioning for adult and young carers, to help Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) better identify and help carers to stay well.  It is part of NHS England’s Commitment to Carers, working alongside other organisations, to give carers greater support and improve their quality of life.

The 10 principles aim to help CCGs deliver the best outcomes for carers, with a self-assessment questionnaire for commissioners to identify where they can provide further support at a population level.  The Principles have been published alongside other new materials for commissioners and providers from NHS Improving Quality and Royal College of General Practitionersto provide improved support for unpaid carers.

All the products, including the Principles, have been shaped with input from commissioners, providers, carer organisations and practitioners.

End of year progress summary

The commitment to carers – end of year progress summary provides a review of the progress achieved against the commitments to carers that NHS England made at the end of 2014/2015. It demonstrates that we have made a good start to our journey, but we also recognise that there is still more work to be done.

NHS England remains committed to continuing this work to support carers with our partners in 2015/16. We would like to thank all the carers and carer organisations who have contributed their valuable knowledge and experience to this process and our achievements so far and we look forward to their continued support going forward.

The summary table at the end of the commentary show that 32 of the commitments have either been completed and will be continued to be monitored or the initial action is complete and further work will be required in 2015/16 and 5 commitments are still on-going into work streams for 2015/16.

The commitments have been overseen by a delivery group comprising of carers organisations and they have agreed the content of this report. In line with transparency, this document provides an end of year report where progress has been made and what further action is needed.

Whilst the commitments have been well-received by carers organisations, we are clear that the 37 commitments , simply represent the start of a journey and a step in the right direction.

We will keep listening and refining our commitments. Ultimately, we want to improve the quality of life for carers and the people for whom they care by supporting what carers have told us is important to them.