Background Assessing caregivers’ needs is fast becoming a key instrument preventing carers’ crises, particularly when caring for patients with Motor Neurone Disease (Flemming, et al., 2020). Investigating factors contributing to carers breakdown in families living with and caring for people with Motor Neurone disease (MND) is a continuing concern within healthcare, particularly with current reduction in carers’ support services since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (Carers UK, 2021).
Aims This quality improvement project aims to improve early recognition of fatigue in family caregivers of patients with MND by implementing an already validated carers needs assessment tool as part of routine family centred care.
Methods The Carers Alert Thermometer [CAT] created by Edge Hill University, was piloted for a period of 8 weeks. The implementation process also included creating and developing an MND support group at the hospice every two weeks to support family care givers.
Results During the project we found that staff felt more confident in using an assessment tool after the training session and that staff had a shared vision in providing support to family caregivers. A key finding of the project was that after creating and developing the MND support group, family members consistently improved their scores on how able they felt to continue providing care at the current level for the person.
Conclusion Evaluation of the project showed greater patient and family caregiver satisfaction of hospice services, an increase in family caregivers’ confidence to continue to be a primary care giver and a reduction in anxiety around planning for the future.
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