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Fact sheet

Running Coffee Mornings for Carers in GP Surgeries

What is the initiative?
Running coffee mornings for carers once a month in GP Practices, raising carer awareness.

Who runs it?
*Blackpool Carers Centre

Who does it benefit?
*Carers who attend the coffee mornings
*GP Practices by adding value to their service and supporting their patients
*The Carers Centre by raising their profile with local healthcare practitioners and carers

What does it do?
It provides carers with an opportunity to talk with carers’ organisation staff, and amongst themselves, about issues affecting them. It also increases the awareness of GP Practice staff about carers issues, and raises their profile within the Practice.

Finally, it allows the GPs to see that there are opportunities to support carers provided by the Carers’ Centre, which raises the Centres’ profile with the GPs and improves the relationship between the two.

When did it start?
Started in 2010, and is on-going.

Why was it started?
The initiative was started to act as a trigger to Practices that identifying carers was important, and was seen as a way of getting Practices to engage with the Carers’ Centre and the work of the GP Liaison Workers.

Blackpool Carers Centre saw this as an opportunity to show the GP Practices that the Carers’ centre could support carers effectively, and in doing-so add value to the service that they offer, without the Practice having to put much time in. As such, the Centre demonstrated that they could help carers maintain their mental and physical health and wellbeing through a range of support and training on-offer through the centre.

What are the aims and objectives?
• To raise awareness of carers amongst GP Practice staff
• To make carers aware of the Carers’ Centre
• To support carers to maintain their emotional, mental and physical health and well-being
• To alleviate pressures placed on GP Practices, particularly the time spent with carers, by achieving the above

How is it funded?
Through the local PCT as part of the wider works that the centre undertakes with GP Practices and increase carer identification.

What has it achieved?
The initiative is on-going. However, in the GP Practice where coffee mornings have been taking place since October 2011 there are now up-to 15 carers at a time attending the meetings. At other GP Practices, where the initiative has been adopted more recently, the profile of the meetings and the number of carers attending is slowly increasing.

How have carers been involved in planning and delivering this work?
Carers are asked how they feel that the mornings have gone when they attend, and any feedback is taken on-board; this assessment is very organic at this stage.

To see how to set up something similar in your area, click the link
Setting-up Coffee Mornings for Carers in GP Practices