Problem: Early identification of carers has been a focus of NHS England as written in the NHS Long Term Plan and People at the Heart of Care and further supported by Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE). The document, A carers strategy for Hertfordshire 2022-2025, states that point 1 in the 5-point care pathway is to identify and refer carers to appropriate services. Two Carers Forums (virtual and face-to-face) was conducted with a total of 35 carers participated. 34 out of 35 carers interviewed reported poor experience and 30/35 reported late identification by the trust. Some carers are not even aware that they are carers.
By identifying carers earlier, we can support them better in their caring responsibilities, involve them in the discharge process and through the carers agreement, support them to help while their loved one is in hospital.
Aim: To increase the number of carers identified, and out of those carers, ensure 80% receive carer support packages whilst at ENHT by March 2024
Key drivers for change : Improving communication. carer training and support, develop new processes for carer support
Change ideas: Testing carer alerts on our clinical system and carer support for staff.
This journey has been quite a roller coaster for me. This project was my third attempt. My first project I realised that my area of influence and control isn’t big enough for me to successfully deliver it. My second project became redundant due change of strategic priorities. Which lead me here to my third project – I have learnt things change and all I can do is be resilient, embrace it and see where it takes me.
This programme made me also realise the value of networking – I have met so many colleagues that I wouldn’t have normally crossed paths with, and they shared so many helpful insights that made my project successful.
I think I should have been braver and tried my change ideas earlier – I did eventually developed this later on the course. I realised it doesn’t matter how many takes you have as long as you learn from each of them and not lose the drive to continuously improve to reach nursing excellence.
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