In this section:
This year, why not enjoy a day out at a National Gardens Scheme garden - you'll be helping fund the QNI too!
Providing vital funding for projects that help improve patient care.
Visit our nursing heritage website, a celebration of District Nursing around the world since 1859.
Carers Trust (formerly the Princess Royal Trust for Carers) has worked for many years to help those who care for others. You can visit their website at www.carers.org
What follows is an update of the work Carers Trust has done as part of the Supporting Carers in General Practice Programme, funded by the Department of Health.
Finding out what’s needed
The project involved in-depth consultations with carers centres from across the country through online surveys, telephone interviews and regional workshops. During these consultations, members of both networks described their successes, the challenges they face and how they could be best supported. As a result, there is now a much better understanding of how Carers Trust can support members of the network.
Professional Development Seminar for Expert Practitioners
One of Carers Trust’s objectives has been the recruitment of 20 Expert Practitioners from the large pool of talent across their networks and provide them with a two-day professional development seminar in March,
The programme included workshops on customer relationship management, identifying young carers in General Practice, navigating the NHS, opening doors to GP practices, communication skills, the policy context and the role of GP Champion for Carers and Carer Ambassador.
With further funding, Carers Trust hope to provide additional professional development opportunities for other GP Liaison Practitioners including those whose work and caring responsibilities prevented them from applying to become an Expert Practitioner or attending the seminar.
Developing resources for GP Liaison Practitioners
Another of the objectives was to produce online and hard-copy resources for GP Liaison Practitioners, including examples of best practice, together with a GP Liaison Practitioner’s Manual, which will be available for distribution in early summer. .
Working with other organisations to identify carers
During the consultation activities, many carers centres and schemes spoke about the benefits of working in partnership with staff from other organisations and healthcare staff.
With this in mind, Carers Trust recently carried out a survey in partnership with the Queens Nursing Institute. Given that most of the QNI’s membership consist of community nurses who will be in regular contact with carers, Carers Trust wanted to ask them about the opportunities their members have for identifying carers, the challenges they face in doing this, and what Carers Trust could do to make it easier for them in future.
Overall, the survey has shown that healthcare professionals are very much aware of the issues carers face and feel able to identify them. However, many of the nurses who responded said they would value more information about carers in their own locality. Without such information, they reported, it was difficult to make referrals with confidence. A report summarising the findings will be available soon.