In 2015, five hospice representatives across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire met as a ‘meet and finish’ group to review the service that hospices and palliative care providers give to carers.
The aims of the group were to identify:
Gaps in provision
Types of assessment tools used
Key learning from other services
The need for services to collectively to reach more people.
The types of hospice support for adult family carers within the Hospice UK (2013) document “Supporting family carers: report on the evidence of how to work with and support family carers to inform the work of the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care” were used as a basis of the discussion:
Information, training and education – moving and handling, disease process, prognosis, specific care tasks, medication, dying
Supportive activities – Drop in sessions, self-help groups, walking or activity groups, volunteer visiting, art-making groups
Therapeutic activities – one-to-one counselling, therapeutic support groups, drama, music or art therapy, relaxations or mindfulness classes, complementary therapies and psychotherapy.
The focus group ascertained that hospices are confidently providing therapeutic activities, however, they were less confident that hospices provide sufficient information, training and education and supportive activities for carers.
Outcome The group agreed to produce a minimum standard for specialist palliative care providers/hospices in meeting carers’ needs.
Minimum standard for supporting carers by specialist palliative care providers/hospices
Signpost those early in the trajectory to partner organisations
Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool
Moving and handling, the care towards the end of life and Caring in Confidence courses
Leaflets and website
Financial or benefit advice
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