Principle 8 – Prioritise carers’ health and wellbeing

The GP Patient Survey in 2013 highlighted the impact of caring on carer health – whilst 51 percent of non-carers had a long-standing health condition, this rose to 60 percent of all carers and 70 percent of carers caring for 50 or more hours a week. The survey also highlighted higher levels of arthritis, high blood pressure, long-term back problems, diabetes, mobility problems, anxiety and depression amongst carers (Policy Briefing, May 2014, Facts about carers).  Caring responsibilities can have an adverse impact on the physical and mental health, education and employment potential of those who care. This can result in significantly poorer health and quality of life outcomes. These in turn can affect a carer’s effectiveness and lead to the admission of the cared for person to hospital or residential care (Department of Health Assessment, eligibility and portability for care users and carers).

Image of a scale bar with red, amber and green

Using the above image as a scale where red is lowest and green is highest. How would you rate the below questions.

  • How assured are you that all identified carers of any age in your locality have their health and wellbeing monitored?
  • How assured are you that all identified carers in your locality are receiving Carers’ Assessments?
  • How assured are you that your plans for the Better Care Fund have the right level of funding to support carers in your locality?

Ask yourself

  • Do you have an assurance framework for the services you commission to ensure carers have a care plan?
  • Do you invest in self-care to support patients and their carers to understand and manage their conditions better?
  • Do you have an assurance framework to ensure carers are offered training in managing medication, moving and handling etc?

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