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Intensive Carers Support Service Project: Supporting hidden carers

Published: Friday 6 February 2015

London Borough of Richmond, Adult and Community Services and NHS Richmond have launched a 12 month pilot to raise the identification of carers in Richmond. 

Hidden carers are individuals who look after someone but are not highlighted as a carer to professionals and therefore miss out on information, advice and support available to them at a point when they may need it most.

We know that from the national census that 15,802 (8.5% of all residents) identify they provide care to an individual in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. This percentage is similar to London, and lower than the average in England. Currently approximately only 2000 carers are known to the Local Authority and the commissioned Carers Hub service.  

The Carers Support Service aims to raise the identification of carers in Richmond. The pilot will in reach into Kingston and West Middlesex acute hospitals, GP surgeries and a small percentage of community services in the borough to identify hidden carers. The Carers Support Workers will work pro-actively with the identified hospitals, GP surgeries and community services to generate referrals of hidden carers. 

What can the Carers Support Service pilot offer?  

  • Support carers to ensure an integrated support network is available.
  • One to one intensive support to achieve outcomes tailored to the individual carer
  • Refer to relevant community and health based services for carers including NHS health checks
  • Provide support with contingency planning and application for emergency card scheme
  • Accompany carers to introduce and establish a connection with services i.e. Richmond Carers Centre
  • Support Carers to understand health and social care pathways
  • Assist with navigation of social care support packages to maintain their caring role
  • Support Carers to understand hospital setting 

Who is suitable?  

  • A carer referred from the named hospitals and selected GP surgeries in the borough
  • A carer who requires more intensive support not offered by the normal referral pathways
  • Isolated carers, unable to access carers centre or make suitable care arrangements
  • Those who require one to one support  over a period of time to establish support networks
  • Those who require substantial guidance to arrange self-funded care.

Throughout the pilot it is expected that this will maintain carers in their roles, support with hospital discharge and prevent readmission, and minimize the risk of carer breakdown. The pilot will shape carers services in Richmond for the future.

Further information:

For more information on the pilot or how to refer a suitable carer please contact: Olivia Brown - Carers Support Worker; Mark Birch - Carers Support Worker

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