Carer Voice

The Carer Voice is about how we and carers influence the providers of services and NHS to improve services and deal with issues affecting those with MH problems. Its about what we have been saying and what response we got. Its about the carers whose voice falls on deaf ears. Its about stories as they help to explain experiences and identify needs. Raising your ‘voice’ will help us with our lobbying and contacts with professionals and organisations. It will help you to deal better with professionals and improve your ability to get the services you need.

We need to hear your voice to help you in:

  • Dealing with decision makers
  • Knowing where to raise issues
  • Know the right questions to ask

There are many ‘Current Issues’ which we know concern carers and will be part of our current contacts with organisations and part of our Future Plans

Current Issues

Some of the most pressing issues for carers come from :-

Funding – the lack of service and Vol sector funding and the lack of funding for support of carers. (see Our Aims, ‘Focus on Funding’ here…)

Social care changes – PIP (Personal Independence Payment)

Crisis Services –  the time it takes to get help in a crisis); professionals are often not listening when we need an opportunity to give real vent to feelings.

GP knowledge of mental health – level of knowledge by GPs and practice staff needs to improve to allow effective understanding of mental health issues(see Primary care in ‘How Care Services are Organised’ here

Social prescribing – issues around introducing a new approach to services provided by GP practices which help to deal with social as well as health care issues. (See Social prescribing here...)

Support for the elderly – services are available e.g sitting service, carer breaks, respite care for client, but the Voluntary sector is expected to support clients when their resources are stretched. See ‘Caring for Carers’

 

What we are doing about them!

There are a number of ways in which we bring these issues to the notice of service commissioners and providers. Since we have been going as an organisation and charity for many years our views are respected. Services and the systems behind them change so quickly that we need to be able to respond.

  1. We invite senior managers in services to our Committee meetings and Open Meetings. We and the carers present can explain the concerns they have and get some direct responses.
  2. Members of the committee are involved in service commissioner and providers public engagement committees. These include: meetings of the Notts Healthcare Trust Carers Strategy group; the Mid Notts CCGs patient and public engagement committee; Notts County Council Carer Services consultation group.  This gives us the opportunity to make direct input into policy and service development.
  3. Members of the committee keep an eye on developing health and social care policies and make input into those developments.
  4. Carers are involved with various carer support groups that engage with service provider managers as supporters of the groups. Those managers hear at first hand the experience of carers and those discussions may get fed back to us.
  5. As members of the public we and other carers will attend consultation meetings about planned service changes and make our input into those.

WE NEED CARERS TO TELL US THEIR CONCERNS.

YOU CAN DO THAT BY:

  • Responding to us through this web site by using this web site  ‘CONTACT US’ email link or responding to requests from the Newsletter.
  • Attending our Open Meetings and tell us your concerns and service experiences which we can put back onto this web site through the ‘CARER STORIES’ page with your permission.
  • Tell us at any time (our committee officer contact details are here and on the newsletter) about your experiences and concerns.
  • Use your ‘Voice’ when you attend community meetings and tell us about issues that arise.
  • Tell us what else we can put on our web site to enable you to make your ‘Voice’ heard more often and in different ways.