Background Research has found that caring affects carers physically, mentally, and emotionally (Davidson & Gentry, 2013; Carers UK, 2020), with many carers reporting getting no breaks at all (Carers UK, 2021) and often suffering financially and socially (Bruhn, 2016). This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 epidemic (Carers UK, 2021; Carers Trust, 2022). In 2021 Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland (HHCNL) asked nursing and care home managers in the geographical area covered by this charity what kind of respite they provide for people caring for someone requiring palliative or end-of-life care. The responses showed a significant paucity of respite provision that will remain for the foreseeable future. HHCNL’s ambition is to help close this gap by extending and making more flexible our current respite provision. Carers’ perceptions are important in this endeavour therefore we asked them for their views.
Aim To conduct qualitative research into carers’ perceptions of the respite they receive from HHCNL with the intention of generating new knowledge that will inform our plans to offer an extended, flexible individualised respite care service to people caring for adults with palliative or end-of-life needs.
Method Semi- structured interviews were conducted between December 2021 and February 2022 with a sample of 13 carers, these being both current and previous recipients of respite provision by HHCNL.
Results The research demonstrated a high level of satisfaction with the respite provided by HHCNL. Respondents described the kind of respite received and how this was used. However, it was clear that a more flexible approach, for example in terms of length of time and frequency of respite, would be welcomed.
Conclusion The results of the research presented to the Board of Trustees resulted in a decision to fund a project to provide more respite for more people, to include increased nursing capacity in the home and an inpatient bed. Thus, the aim of the study was achieved.
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