Preventing Crisis for Carers

Preventing Crisis for Carers

Preventing Crisis for Carers was a joint project between Carers Trust Scotland, local carers’ centres, and health and social care professionals.

Key Points: 

  • The project placed carer support workers into hospitals and social work departments.
  • The programme was made up of four individual pilot projects operating in four NHS board areas in Scotland.
  • Almost 3,000 new carers were identified and more than 3,500 health and social care professionals were trained in carer awareness.
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Date Revised: 
25/11/14

Preventing Crisis for Carers (The Moffat Project)

With funding from the Moffat Trust, Preventing Crisis for Carers was a joint project between Carers Trust Scotland, local carers’ centres, and health and social care professionals. 

The programme concluded in June 2010 and aimed to: 

  • get support for carers at an early stage
  • advise carers of their rights and offer them a carer’s assessment
  • reduce the pressure on carers’ own health
  • get carers involved in discharge planning
  • train health and social care professionals in carer awareness.

Named after the Moffat Charitable Trust which supplied the funding for the initiative, the project placed carer support workers into hospitals and social work departments. Workers helped identify new carers, directed them to sources of support and trained health care professionals in carer awareness.

What was the Programme about?

The overall programme was made up of four individual pilot projects operating in four NHS board areas in Scotland. Each pilot site used the knowledge and experience of carer organisations, which were part of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (now Carers Trust Scotland) Network, and promoted partnership work between the local carers' centres, health and social care professionals to identify carers early on in their caring role. 

The good ways of working and protocols developed by the programme aimed to ensure that all carers who came into contact with health were:

  • identified as carers
  • signposted to local advice
  • made aware of their rights and could access appropriate support to help them with their caring responsibilities.

The Pilot Sites

The four NHS board areas covered by the Moffat pilots were NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS Borders, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lothian. Local carers' centres led the pilot work in partnership with local health and social care professionals.

What happened?

As a result of the programme almost 3,000 new carers were identified and more than 3,500 health and social care professionals were trained in carer awareness. 

An independent evaluation of the project by Glasgow Caledonian University found that the Crisis Prevention Programme resulted in many improvements in hospitals: 

  • professionals were more likely to identify carers at an early stage and put support for them in place at an earlier stage
  • there were changes to ways of working which benefited carers
  • carers reported feeling that professionals had more recognition of their expertise in caring and understood their needs as a carer
  • carers felt more able to have a say in shaping the services they, or the person they cared for, received 
  • carers were provided with more information ,such as being told of their right to a carer’s assessment.

The evaluation recommended that funding for carer support workers in hospitals continues and that carer awareness training should be mandatory for all healthcare professionals.

Read the final evaluation report, or a summary of the report.  

Some of the people involved in the Moffat Project (health professionals, carers’ centre staff and volunteers) talk about their experiences in an audio podcast.

Further Developments

For more information on developments please contact Carers Trust Scotland on scotland@carers.org or phone 0300 123 2008.

Equal Partners in Care

A further development has been Equal Partners in Care (EPiC).  This is a joint project between NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) to implement the workforce education and learning elements of Caring Together 2010-15, the Carers Strategy for Scotland.

It aims to support workers from health, social services and other sectors to work in partnership with carers and young carers, and to achieve better outcomes for all involved in the caring relationship. The aim is to do this by providing learning resources to help best practice become universal practice.

View the Equal Partners in Care website.