Swansea Carers Centre working with GP practices to recognise carers in a partnership of care.
The Carers Awareness Project, funded by The Big Lottery Fund – People and Places Grant has now been running for a year. The funding has enabled us to work long term and intensively with GP’s and other front line healthcare professionals, across Swansea, to increase carer awareness, identification and referrals. So far over 20 surgeries have fully engaged with the scheme and many more carers have been identified by professionals in surgeries, enabling them to have better access to support and therefore improving their health and wellbeing.
Project Co-ordinator Karen Keey said “Nine out of ten carers attend their local GP surgery every year; however, many of these do not identify themselves as carers and therefore miss out on the help and support they could be receiving. Health professionals are well placed to identify carers at an early stage and signpost them for support. When carers are identified early and properly supported, they are more able to continue in their caring roles. We want more people in Swansea to be recognised as carers by frontline healthcare staff and register with their GP’s, so that they can access the services they need and help them avoid a crisis.”
Cwmfelin Surgery was one of the first surgeries to fully engage with the scheme. They are working with Swansea Carers Centre to develop an integrated approach to identifying carers. Regular Carers Clinics are held at the Surgery where carers can drop in and speak to a member of staff from the Carers Centre. Working with the project, the surgery now has a referral process in place and a dedicated noticeboard for Carers. We have also met with the Practice Manager, Shannon Thomas, and the GP’s working at the surgery to talk about the services Swansea Carers Centre has to offer carers and the importance of helping to identify carers early and signposting them to us. Practice Manager Shannon said, “Karen attended one of our monthly clinical meetings to talk to the Practice about the invaluable services Swansea Carers Centre provides. The GP’s were not fully aware of the help and services available, and with the information Karen provided us with, the GP’s are now able to pass on this information to patients and carers. In the past, many patients and carers leave the GP’s room with information but never actually contact Swansea Carers Centre. The new referral process is a great help, as once a referral is sent off, the Carer will get a call from the Centre to identify any needs.”
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