18 May 2015
Chief Exec's Blog - working with carers
I had a great evening in Bath
last Wednesday. Thanks to Keep Safe Keep Sane, for hosting an
excellent gathering of carers, service users, multi providers and
commissioners. I felt a real sense of progress, partnership working
and praise for very strong mental health and social care
commissioning. Thank you to everyone involved.
I left with three key messages for focus and improvement: More
reliable crisis response - if you say you'll call back....call
back! Even greater collaboration - still some duplication and but
even more gaps.
But the overwhelming message was "When will you start to listen
to carers, treat them as experts and involve them as part of the
care team?" Carer after carer told the same story of being ignored,
patronised or 'fobbed of with confidentiality.'
It would seem that our default position is not to share
information in the name of confidentiality. We need to reverse
that. We need to ensure that sharing information and involving
carers becomes our default, and that refusing to share information
is the exception. A carer who had lost her son to suicide is
convinced that, had she known more, been able to share more, he may
still be alive.
The voice of the carer is critical in providing great care.
Let's start to include them as part of the team. They may not have
a clinical qualification, but they are, without doubt, experts.
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