Our Carers’ Council works hard to improve the carer experience across the Trust, establishing the Trust’s annual carer priorities and making sure the carers’ collective voice reaches to the heart of the organisation.
The Council has a diverse membership drawn from across the Trust’s services and strong links with community organisations. As well as Carers and Carer Governors, membership includes the Chief Operating Officer, the Associate Director of Quality and Head of Patient and Carer Involvement.
We have listened to our carers and we know there is a long way to go but we are committed to getting it right. The issues raised by our carers have led to key developments within CNWL.
• Carers wanted more of a voice within the Trust
The Carers Council have developed a Carers Survey that we use to gather the views and experiences of carers and council members continually outreach to carer groups and organisations across the Trust. We have increased the frequency of our Carers Council meetings this year to make sure we are sharing and acting on this feedback more effectively.
The Chair of the Carers Council, a Carer from Hillingdon, attended our last Trust Board to highlight the issues being raised by Carers. Board members have already set up a further meeting to look at how we can work together to address these.
• Carers need more information to support them their caring role
We have co-produced a Carers Information Leaflet with our Carers, this contains information requested by our carers as well as support and resources available locally. This is being updated in March and will go to print shortly.
• Carers want more involvement in the care and treatment of their loved ones
CNWL staff and carers have co-produced a fantastic short film ‘The Last Time We Spoke’ to highlight the barriers to inclusion faced by carers and to promote equal partnership working between our carers and staff. Carers are now co-delivering this training resource to our Trust staff as part of our Recovery and Wellbeing College programme.
• Carers would like more support: from Peers, support groups and staff
A large number of local Carers forums have been established in our local services including in Community, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities services. Many of our services now have Carers leads identified and we will continue to roll this out. We are training our Council members to guide and support them in their role as Peer leads.
Next Steps: Identifying and reaching out to Carers
We have started planning a co-produced a Trust-wide Carers’ Conference in the Summer in central London that will focus on outreaching to carers requiring support in accessing and engaging with our services, and highlighting the resources and support available.
For more information about the services available from CNWL, please visit http://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/service-users-carers/carers/carers-council