Below are four examples of good practice in carer involvement and consultation.
The conference, which took place in November 2006, marked the end of a major six month consultation period on the Carers Strategy and was a huge success with 39 carers and 50 professionals from both the statutory and voluntary sector attending the conference at an accessible venue.
The conference was a chance for carers to hear the progress made and put their opinions about the right focus for 2007-08 to help carers stay healthy and have a life outside caring. They were also able to help plan for the next five years.
For the first time, the conference was broadcast live over the internet. This meant carers who were unable to attend in person, could still participate in the event. The webcast increased the number of people who could share their views on improvements for support for carers.
Along with individuals viewing at home on their own computers, there were opportunities for carers to watch the conference with other carers at six other accessible venues in the County (three Carers in Hertfordshire centres, two Age Concern centres and at Watford Asian Community Care).
People were able to send comments online and some of these were shared at the conference. At its peak 180 viewings were recorded and many comments were made both during and after the event on a dedicated webpage.
Dundee Carers Centre hosted a Carers Questiontime event during Carers Week giving carers a chance to pose questions to a panel of local statutory and voluntary sector professionals who work in the field of carers’ issues.
It gave carers a chance to ask questions about local issues such as emergency respite care, free parking at the hospital, changes to day care services, forward planning for families with disabled children, as well as expressing their views about wider issues such as the low level of Carers Allowance and carers in employment.
Lanarkshire Carers Centre introduced an annual Stakeholders Event alongside their AGM. This event gives carers a chance to comment on the services they have received from the carers centre over the previous year and express their views on areas for future development.
Professionals from the Local Authority and Health services attend along with local partner organisations, to listen to the views of the carers who attend. The carers centre uses the report from this event to inform their strategic planning and work plans for the forthcoming year.
A married couple moved to Rockwell Housing, a new partnership arrangement between a housing association and the social work department, with a social care team on site. The facility included a number of flats for two people as well as one person flats and this enabled the couple to remain together. The husband was able to continue caring for his wife who had significant personal care needs, with additional support from the care team on site.
Information sharing between agencies to ensure seamless care was underpinned by several policies and protocols such as the NHS Code of Practice and consent forms as part of the Site Specific Assessment process.
There was an impressive range of developments to improve care and treatment, such as the redesign of the Intensive Care at Home Service, the Lochleven intermediate care facility, the Chinese lunch club, Rockwell housing with care and the planned joint equipment store.
Further information about this partnership working can be found on the Scottish Government website.