Identification of Carers by Community Pharmacists in Scotland
NHS Carer Information Strategies must as a minimum demonstrate how NHS Boards are making community-based pharmacists aware of their role in supporting the Strategy.
The Carers Trust ‘Focus on Carers’ Initiative identified successful methodologies and models of good practice to identify and support carers through joint work between community pharmacists and local Carers Centres, one of which is highlighted below.
The Princess Royal Trust Moray Carers Centre
The centre manager contacted the local pharmacist in Forres, who was very enthusiastic and briefed the pharmacy staff on the implementation of the initiative. The cards and letters were delivered to the pharmacy and the initiative got underway.
The manager contacted the pharmacy at regular intervals to update the staff on the outcomes and numbers of carers identified.
To build on this enthusiasm, the centre manager arranged with the press for articles to appear in the local newspapers promoting the initiative, including photographs of the pharmacy. This not only publicised the search for hidden carers, by raising awareness in the newspapers’ readership, but also provided an excellent incentive when introducing the idea to other pharmacists.
The outcomes were very successful for this approach. A total of 8,340 cards were handed out by the pharmacy, and produced 100 responses from carers, which is a 1.2% return.
Approximately two thirds of those carers identified asked to be included on the centre’s mailing list, whilst the remainder requested help in areas such as benefit checks and information about the law regarding disability, and how to access additional services.
Although surprised at the level of response, the centre had made sure they would be prepared, by having the initial information and resource packs ready to be sent to the carers.