Carers Trust are supporting the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s Quality Standards for improving support for unpaid carers.

Carers Trust is encouraging commissioners, providers and Network Partners to use these NICE Quality Standards to ensure unpaid carers get good quality support.

The Quality Standards describe what high quality care and support should look like in areas that were highlighted for needing improvement. The five Quality Statements are:

  • Carers are identified by health and social care organisations and encouraged to recognise their role and rights.
  • Carers are supported to actively participate in decision making and care planning for the person they care for.
  • Carers having a carer’s assessment are given the opportunity to discuss what matters most to them, including their own health, wellbeing and social care needs, and work, education, or training.
  • Carers are regularly given the opportunity to discuss with health and social care practitioners the value of having a break from caring and the options available to them.
  • Carers are offered supportive working arrangements by workplaces.

Carers Trust are pleased to see NICE recognise many of the aspects of support for carers that Carers Trust have been highlighting. The Quality Standards encourage providers to work with unpaid carers as partners in care recognising the skills and knowledge unpaid carers have about the person they care for. Vitally, they also highlight the importance of ensuring carers are offered breaks from their caring role, including replacement care.

Carers Trust want commissioners, health and care providers, and frontline staff to use these Quality standards to improve the support for unpaid carers. Local areas should work with local carer support organisations, like Carers Trust Network Partners, to ensure unpaid carers in the local area are identified and supported.

Network Partners could also use these Quality Standards to have conversations with commissioners and providers on how to build on the support and services currently available to unpaid carers.