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Fact sheet

Health and Wellbeing

One of the four main goals of the Government White Paper "Our health, Our care, Our Say" is "better prevention services with earlier intervention".

With an ageing population and more people living with long term conditions, the National Health Service cannot remain principally a treatment service. Health services need to focus more on keeping people well.

Another goal of the White Paper is "to do more on tackling inequalities and improving access to community services".

Carers are often unrecognised, can be excluded from access to services or treatment because of their caring role, and face significant health deficits as a result of caring.

Research on carers health (92 KB) shows that high numbers of carers suffer health effects through caring. Health professionals who identify carers open up the opportunity of addressing these issues in a practical way. For instance – a carer with back problems as a result of lifting the person they care for in and out of bed can be helped by provision of a hoist or other equipment. A carer suffering from stress or depression could benefit considerably from a break from caring.

The route to many support services is through identification and referral to other agencies – to Social Services for a carers’ assessment, or to the local Carers’ Centre for information and support.

Carers are also partners in the provision of care to the person they care for. With appropriate training and support, carers can play a key role in maintaining the health of the person they care for. For instance, training the carers of stroke survivors can reduce subsequent readmissions to hospital for the patient. Resources used to equip carers with the skills, knowledge and support to undertake the role with confidence could pay dividends in the long term.

Carers and Personalisation
A report was produced by Carers Trust looking at how carers, and the services that support them responded to the personalisation agenda. Read details on this here.

The Department of Health has published a guidance for adult and social care professionals for better practice and outcomes regarding carers and personalisation (published 25 Nov 2010). See details here.