Developing a ‘Carers Charter’
Work took place to demonstrate the values of the Trust by engaging, involving and working with as many diverse service users and carers in the development of the Carers Charter. The Trust acknowledges that work is required if we are to ensure our commitment to carers is upheld. This means that we need to continually work to ensure the needs of family, friends and carers are addressed by embedding an approach to support and involve family, friends and carers across the organisation. Nationally the statistics surrounding family, friends and carers requires a call to action to address the fact that;
- 1 in 8 adults (around 6.5 million people) are carers
- 6000 people across the UK become a carer every day
- There are around 260,000 unpaid carers living in WY&H. This includes young carers.
- 1 in 7 of our workforce currently balance work with their caring responsibilities, with numbers as high as 1 in 5 in some sectors
Who did you consult with and what did you ask?
When we are describing ‘carers’ we mean ‘anyone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend due to their disability, health condition, frailty, mental health problem, addiction or other health and care needs’.
The concept of a charter originally came from our carers group. The idea was to co-produce a charter which:
- Identified a definition for carers
- Created a set of objectives the Trust needed to deliver on
- Described what our commitment to carers should be
- How the charter should be promoted
Explain who the stakeholders were
To help enable us to produce the ‘Our Commitment to Carers’ charter it was absolutely imperative we gather the views and comments of carers as well as services users, third sector partner organisations and staff.
The Trust actively engaged with 125 people. Staff attended a number of events and existing carers groups across the areas of Calderdale, Kirklees, Wakefield and Barnsley.
Each conversation had a range of carers who had an interest in mental health. The Trust wanted to gather feedback to create a postcard and poster.
What did they tell you?
People told us what they wanted to see on a charter. The charter encompasses the views of all those engaged. A draft version of the charter once developed was recirculated to those who had given it a view. This helped to create a final version and an infographic which are attached below:
In addition, those participating identified a definition of a carer whilst co-designing the Trust charter. People told us that a carer should be defined in the context of ‘Family, Friends and Carers’ to ensure anyone who identifies with the description above is included. This wider definition has now been adopted by the Trust.
What did you do?
Following the engagement, the Trust also created a version of a carers card. The Charter and infographic are now displayed in all out-patient clinics, community centres, in-patient areas and at GP practices. In addition, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Partnership and NHS England have added it to their carers resource to share regionally and nationally.
The revised charter and info graph was very well received, in particular by the carers who found it easy to read and understand.
Where can you find more information about this work?
To find out more about this work, a copy of the charter and our commitment to carers, visit our Trust website on: www.swyt.nhs.uk
Engagement documents and downloads
Engagement location: Trustwide
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