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Carer's assessments

Nigel Warburton

This week Nigel from the PCC Engagement Team tells us about his work on the PCC Carer's Assessment Report.

The Bamford Monitoring Group plays an important role in the PCC’s work on the issues that matter to people in mental health and learning disability.

At the PCC ‘Planning Ahead’ event last year many carers reported that they felt let down after having a Carer’s Support and Needs Assessment (CSNA) because there was very little, if any, additional support for careers as a result of this assessment.

As a result of this  feedback the  Bamford Monitoring Group, which plays an important role in the PCC’s work on the issues that matter to people in mental health and learning disability, suggested that further evidence should be gathered to understand the extent to which assessments are providing the support needed for carers within mental health and learning disability.

Over a four-month period we had in-depth conversations with 10 carers who had been directly affected by Carer’s Support and Needs Assessments.  The aim was to understand people’s experiences of having an assessment, from the process of getting referred through to the outcome of the assessment. We also wanted to find out if having an assessment had made a difference to their lives and if it had helped them to continue in their role as carer.

All the carers who took part in this study gave emotional accounts of their daily lives as carers, which they described as constant, time-consuming and demanding, both physically and mentally.  Some of the key messages we heard included:

  • All the carers we spoke to felt that they were not fully supported in their role as carers - practically, financially or emotionally;
  • All the interviewees said they received very little information about the assessment in advance;
  • The majority of carers interviewed said that their experience of the process of having an assessment was positive and that the person who carried out the assessment showed understanding and empathy.

Most of those we spoke to were disappointed in the outcome of their assessment. While many people recognised the value of the assessment, as a means to assess their needs and identify what support might be of benefit to them, almost everyone felt let down and frustrated that they were offered little or none of the support identified as part of their assessment. 

We would like to extend our thanks to those carers who shared their personal experience with us, as without your contribution this report would not have been possible.

Click the link below to see the full report and the recommendations we have made in light of what people have said.

Are you a carer? What is your experience of the help you have received in helping you look after someone?


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Mary McClelland 28-Jun-2017 at 13:54 hrs

I was very disappointed in the help I received or rather lack of it when I was switching to direct payments for domiciliary care as a consequence I was left for 6 months without any help as my key worker had gone on sick leave and I was left to my own devices