Introduction It was identified that there was a need to support carers within a multidisciplinary environment. The group enabled carers to meet and share experiences.
It is important to care for the carers.
▶ To provide a structured programme for carers.
▶ To impart knowledge and information to carers on a variety of topics.
▶ To have a holistic approach to providing support for carers, and to incorporate all members of palliative care team to contribute to the programme.
▶ Evaluated existing service for carers.
▶ Visited carers group in another locality.
▶ Informally interviewed carers at Day Hospice re: need and content of the programme.
▶ Developed a 12 session programme over 6 weeks, meeting weekly at the Hospice.
▶ Pilot included Day Hospice patient carers, and then expanded to open referral system.
▶ Evaluated each session and then the entire programme.
Results Feedback from evaluation shows carers felt supported, gained motivation and benefitted from useful information.
From pilot session:-
▶ 10 sessions scored 100% very satisfied
▶ 1 session scored 20% least useful, 20% most useful, 60% very satisfied.
From 2 sessions:-
▶ 67% were women
▶ 33% were men.
Informal comments were positive. several would like an avenue to continue to meet after group has finished.
▶ Results show that the need to support and provide information to carers was met
▶ At the end of the programme carers reported they felt more supported and better informed
▶ Established peer support continues with some carers
▶ Feedback showed that it would be more beneficial to have longer sessions over an 8 week period
▶ Referrals avenue to be extended to other teams and programme to be more widely publicised.
Conclusion With user involvement we have developed a support service to carers with a focus and structure. This supports and enables carers to care for themselves while caring for others.
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