Key objectives are to:
- Ensure that NHS are sell informed of support available to carers and how to refer carers for services
Update: COEL has continued to provide Think carer training to NHS staff over the course of the year completing sessions with clinical support staff, OTs, managers and Hospital to Home services. A further session is planned for Jan 2020. These are being conducted alongside Jess Kearslake from VOCAL. COEL has now completed their move to the East Lothian Community Hospital and hopes that this will raise their profile among NHS staff to make referrals for their services more likely. Discussions are taking place with John Gibson and Gordon Gray around including COEL within staff induction into the hospital
- Provide ELHSCP with an assessment of how well minority ethnic groups and those with protected characteristics are included within our services, policies and strategies
Update: The MECOPP audit steering group has met again in November. The audit is underway and MECOPP hope to have a draft completed by end Dec. Training sessions on outcomes workshops will be planned for 2020. Dates to be confirmed.
- Develop a longer-term plan for carer funding through a formal procurement process to provide greater security for our carer organisations and meet procurement and legal requirements
Update: The procurement working group comprising of staff from Childrens Wellbeing, MELDAP, The One Partnership Fund and Adult Wellbeing is continuing to outline plans for procurement of carer services. Engagement is ongoing with carers. Surveymonkey questionnaires have been sent to adult carers, both hard copies via COEL’s newsletter and an online survey available through the consultation hub. There have been delays with engagement with young carers due to challenges working with ELYC. Members of the working group recommended that schools and guidance teachers be involved in completing the survey with young carers known to them. ELYC are also to complete focus groups with young carers in November. Feedback from the engagement will inform the service specification. Current carer services have also been mapped against the outcomes within the carers’ strategy – as a result it has been noted that much of the current funding is focused on awareness raising, information and advice and identification of carers. While this is appropriate at this stage as we try to raise awareness of carers and carer issues, the group are keen that procurement look at improving provision of services to carers (outcomes 4 – 8 of the strategy), that is, breaks from caring, supporting carers to have a life outside of their caring role.
- Brief staff on changes to replacement care and respite charging
Update: Replacement care briefings have taken place over October to assessment staff in Adult Wellbeing. Staff now understand the approach ELHSCP are taking to charging for breaks from caring and replacement care. Support plans are beginning to filter through for carers to access free breaks from caring/replacement care. Work is still ongoing with MOSAIC team around changing how this support is logged on the system. Performance reports may have to be amended to reflect the changes and need to be planned to ensure they capture the data correctly
- Ensure that carers have access to counselling support through their local carers’ organisations
Update: Carers of East Lothian was provided with funding this year to set up a counselling post within their service. The counselling coordinator has been recruited and will provide both direct counselling as well as co-ordinate counselling students to provide a service to carers. COEL has now confirmed the service will start once they have moved to the new hospital with carers being offered six sessions. Recruitment of student counsellors will happen once the service is more established.