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Preventing Crisis for Scotland’s Carers – The Answer in the Moffat Report

Note: This is the second of a three-part blog post by Lynn Williams, the Policy Officer in the Glasgow office at The Princess Royal Trust for Carers. The first part of the blog post talked about the changing weather and the problems for Scotland carers.

And this is where the lessons from the Moffat project come in.  Funded through a gift from the Moffat Charitable Trust, the project involved The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Carers’ Centres in Lothians and the Borders, Glasgow, and East Ayrshire working in partnership to improve the situation described above.  With hugely ambitious aims, Support Workers who were part of Carers’ Centre teams, set out to identify carers as early as possible in their caring journey; to help them connect to key services and to get support which maintained their own health and wellbeing. They also worked to ensure that carers were involved in discharge planning.

An independent evaluation of this work by Glasgow Caledonian University highlights the benefits of early identification and specific support provided to unpaid carers. The work carried out helped to vastly increase professionals’ awareness of unpaid carers and their need to involve carers in discharge planning and processes.

Over 3,000 new carers were identified – including an 85 year old man who provides care for his 100 year old sister.   This substantial figure also included a 49 year old woman who was left to run the family business after her husband had a stroke.  As a result of the direct involvement and input of carer support workers, carers reported that agencies worked better together; carers were assessed in their own right; they were also helped to access benefits and grants to minimise the financial impact of caring. Carers reported that health professionals increasingly recognised their contribution and expertise and increasingly understood that carers themselves need support in their own right.

Over 4000 health and social carer professionals received training and worked with carer support staff to improve support mechanisms for unpaid carers.

The impact of having dedicated carer support workers based in hospitals working with health care professionals and unpaid carers in health settings has been recognised in some of the project areas;  continuation funding in the Borders, Lothians and Ayrshire mean that the partnerships, referral pathways and improved joint working will not be lost. As we look ahead to next year’s Draft Scottish budget, a further £5 million has been allocated to support Carer Information Strategy activity – we would strongly argue that it should be allocated for the type of work which the Moffat workers delivered.

Carers Centres involved in the project have seen the benefits and challenges of improved local partnerships.  The challenges include massively increased demand for support with standstill budgets and increasing costs.

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December 20, 2010 - Posted by | Benefits, Health, Scotland | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. This proves what I was saying about registering all Carers.

    Comment by ians12 | December 21, 2010 | Reply


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