National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a draft quality standard aimed at supporting adult carers, improving the wellbeing of people who provide unpaid care for someone over 16 years old.
The five quality statements focus on what local authorities and health and social care organisations can do to support carers, from identification through to ensuring they take regular breaks and are supported in the workplace.
The statements in the draft quality standard for supporting adult carers are:
- Statement 1: Carers are identified by health and social care practitioners at appointments for people with long-term conditions.
- Statement 2: Carers are kept up to date and contribute to decision making and care planning for the person they care for, with the person’s consent.
- Statement 3: Carers having a carer’s assessment are asked about what matters most to them, including consideration of their health, wellbeing and social care needs, and work, education, or training.
- Statement 4: Carers discuss, during their routine assessments and reviews, the value of having a break from caring and the options available to them.
- Statement 5: Carers work in organisations that offer supportive working arrangements.
The draft standard states that practitioners firstly need to identify people who are unpaid carers so they can direct them to the advice and support that is available.
Further statements advise that carers should be involved in the care planning of the person they care for, with the person’s consent, so they can share information with practitioners and to make certain they are prepared and able to manage their caring responsibilities.
Additionally, it recommends that regular carers’ assessments take into consideration what matters most to a carer, such as wellbeing and social care needs, work, education or training, so that the appropriate support can be made available. The quality standard also emphasises the value of regular breaks from caring.
Finally, the quality standard advises practitioners to encourage carers to discuss supportive working arrangements with their employers. This might include flexible hours or providing a private space to take personal phone calls, as well as other initiatives that support mental wellbeing.
The draft quality standard for supporting adult carers is out for public consultation until 9th November 2020.