The CCG commissioned Healthwatch Hampshire to undertake a cycle of engagement events with carers and other partners to identify the support that carers would want to receive to enable them to maintain their caring role for as long as possible. This was from January 2016 to April 2017.
This engagement gave us rich information which helped to inform and shape our commissioning plans, based on what carers have told us they want.
The Carers Action Group considered the results and a service specification for adult carers support and advice services were developed and procurement of the service took place during the latter half of 2017. The Princess Royal Trust for Carers successfully bid for the contract and commenced services from April 2018.
The Aims of the service are to provide:
- one point of contact for carers to be able to access support
- for carers to be signposted to appropriate services
- to provide appropriate training based on a needs analysis
- to ensure that all communities within the local population are able to access carers support, e.g. Nepalese, Gypsy, Roma Traveller, those with sensory loss, etc.
- promotion and recognition of the critical importance of the role of carers
The key objectives of the service are to provide:
- services that improve access to support, information and advice to carers, and to recognise the critical importance of the role of carers
- training to carers to enable them to maintain their caring role, content as identified by carers
- locality based carers support hubs to be held monthly in Aldershot, Farnborough, Fleet & Yateley, in accessible locations
- two GP Carers Clinics in Crondall New and Giffard Drive Surgeries
- support carers through electronic (email, social media, website, etc.) and telephone contact through a single point of access
- innovative methods to improve access for seldom heard groups
- a range of resources/directories listing local agencies and facilities to support appropriate signposting
Carers Action Group
Initially a Carers Task and Finish Group was established with membership of four Community Ambassadors who are or have experience of caring, the Carers Lead from the CCG and Carers Leads from Hampshire & Surrey County Council. The Group then evolved in to the Carers Action Group and the membership has increased to include representatives from the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Action for Carers Surrey, The Diocese of Guildford and a GP Practice Representative.
The Carers Action Group oversaw the engagement activity described above and the development of the service specification and were involved in the procurement. Subsequently, they are responsible for monitoring the contract.
The Group also champion the carers agenda and in September 2018 presented to the GP Practices about raised the profile of the importance of identifying and recognising carers.
The Group meets on a 6 weekly basis. They are also keen to raise the profile of carers with Dentists, Opticians and Pharmacists and work will be on-going to do this is 2019.
Young Adult Carers
The Carers Action Group are also involved in, and overseeing a piece of work to engage with young adult carers (16 to 24 years). This work is in the initial stages of identifying what support young adult carers would like to support them as they transition from young carers to adult carers. This group have very specific needs and the CCG has identified some financial resources this support this work
Collaboration with Aldershot Town Football Club
On February 9, 2019, Aldershot Town Football Club hosted 173 young carers and family members for a special carers' event. Click here to learn more.
Through the idea of one of the Community Ambassadors on the Carers Action Group, the Group are taking forward a series of events and opportunities for all carers of any age to participate in an arts competition. Carers will be able to submit entries in one of four categories:
- Creative writing (written/spoken word)
- Music/dance (sound recording or video)
The competition will close in July 2019, with judging in August. There will be celebration events at the September Carers Hubs/Support Groups. Entries which receive an outstanding award will be invited to the Elvetham Hotel in Fleet, with a guest, for a celebratory afternoon tea.
The aim of the arts completion and the celebratory events is about recognising and valuing carers.
Carers' Champion – The Clinical Chair of the CCG, Dr Peter Bibawy, is also the Carers' Champion for the CCG at Governing Body level.