Throughout the Spring and early Summer of 2016, Devon County Council and their NHS partners organised a series of drop-in listening events across Devon to enable carers to have a say on the re-commissioning of support for carers.Throughout the Spring and early Summer of 2016, Devon County Council and their NHS partners organised a series of drop-in listening events across Devon to enable carers to have a say on the re-commissioning of support for carers.
As well as being able to discuss support for carers at the drop-in events, a survey giving carers a chance to share their views was developed and made available online and in paper format at various events and on request from Healthwatch Devon.
There is a clear message that emerges from the responses to this survey; carers are a diverse group and therefore the support they require needs to be flexible enough to meet their individual needs.
Some specific themes that do emerge are:
- Most carers prefer face-to-face support. This is especially true for care assessments, where 85% of carers chose this as a primary preference for delivering a care assessment.
- Two thirds of carers are currently not able to access the kind of break they want. Increased opportunity and support for carers to have a break, and for there to be high-quality support for the cared-for individual in the primary carers absence was regularly commented upon.
- Support from GPs was very mixed; some carers describe a very positive experience, whilst others are not confident that GPs are the right people, or have the time, to provide the level of support required.
- Over 60% of carers who have experience of hospital discharge considered it a bad experience. This could be improved by more timely information, and better planning and preparation before the person in hospital is ready for discharge.
Read our full report to Devon County Council.