The Carers’ Hub is a model of comprehensive carers support, developed by Carers Trust with assistance from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and funding from the Department of Health. It can be used as a resource for all those looking to commission and develop personalised services for carers.
At the centre of the Hub diagram are the outcomes of the refreshed National Carers Strategy for England. The white band represents a three-pronged approach that can be used to inform strategic planning, and the 17 spokes on the outside of the circle illustrate the complete range of interventions that every area needs in order to deliver the intended outcomes.
The Carers’ Hub can be used in consultation with carers and local services as a tool to map local carer need and service provision. In order to assess what mixture of interventions might be necessary to achieve the outcomes of the National Carers’ Strategy in a local area, the first step would be to carry out consultation to establish:
- what services are currently available
- which of the National Carers’ Strategy outcomes are being met
- which groups are being served
- what local carers and their families want.
A simple way to do this is by printing large copies of the Hub and asking carers to write comments or attach post-it notes under the interventions that are well provided locally. Then use another copy of the Hub (or different colour post-it notes) to repeat the process asking carers to indicate where there are gaps in services.
You may wish to ask carers to make notes on the post-its about the quality of services and who is providing them. As a separate exercise, you may wish to ask carers to repeat the process indicating how well each of the five outcomes at the centre of the Hub are being met. Involving professionals and local service providers in the process will help to give you a complete picture of services in your area.
The results of these exercises will help you to identify strengths, gaps and overlaps in local service provision, as well as areas where partnership working may help to make better use of resources.
The Hub's three-pronged approach to local strategic planning - in the white middle band of the Hub: carer-led, identify and include and whole-area - can then be applied in order to inform the development and implementation of the most appropriate mix of interventions.
Ideally, carer representatives and professionals should sit down together to analyse the messages and identify priorities, so it may be best to carry out this process at meetings (for example, of carer strategy groups or multi-disciplinary agency groups).
The results of the Carers’ Hub consultation process can help to inform Joint Strategic Needs Assessments, Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies and other audit and planning processes, and maximise resources through the development of more efficient services and partnerships. The process can be repeated at a later date in order to help monitor local progress on strategy implementation.
Although the terminology on the Hub comes from English legislation, the rationale and process are applicable across the whole of the UK.
Download a high-resolution version of the Carers' Hub diagram for use in consultation meetings. There is also a Powerpoint version of the Hub with editable text boxes to make notes and/or compile your results.
Further details of the origins of the Hub and how to assess local services in relation to the Carers' Strategy can be found in Commissioning for Carers: an Action Guide for Decision-Makers and Commissioning Better Outcomes for Carers.