NELFT, in partnership with Care City, are delighted to launch Significant Care, a tool designed to help carers spot deterioration in their loved ones earlier and take the necessary action.
Unpaid care is growing faster than the population. Across the UK today, 6.5 million people are unpaid carers, supporting friends and family who are older, disabled, or seriously ill. Each day 6,000 people become carers, many of whom do not know how or where to get help. In April 2014, NHS England published “Commitment to Carers” in recognition of the contribution unpaid carers make to society and the need to better support them in that role.
Care City has seen anecdotal evidence from its partners that, alongside social and practical support, support to enhance the health and care knowledge of carers would significantly reduce the levels of stress and frustration they face.
Significant Care is an adaptation of Significant 7, a simple tool, developed by NELFT for care home staff to identify and proactively manage health deterioration in residents. When Significant 7 launched in care homes across Barking, Havering and Redbridge a reduction in admissions was highlighted, but the greatest achievement was that care home staff felt more confident in their role. Then the Waltham Forest project, demonstrated the use of the tool resulted in A&E admissions from these care homes reduced by 33% and 51% in special sheltered accommodation.
Significant Care was developed in partnership with carers groups across North East London who identified a need for basic health and care skills guidance, particularly focused on recognising signs of deterioration. This paper based tool aims to help carers identify early signs of deterioration in the person they are looking after specifically related to their skin, toilet habits, mobility and levels of confusion. The aim of this tool is improve knowledge and confidence in decision making particularly across the four domains of Significant Care.
Geraldine Rodgers, Associate Director of Nurse and Nurse Fellow for Older People NELFT commented “A reoccurring theme through our conversations with carers was the importance of accessibility of learning, based on a common theme “ If only we knew that” We are therefore delighted to launch this tool to support the informal carers within our East London Boroughs. Development to provide online support is now underway.”
John Craig, Chief Executive, Care City commented “Informal carers provide tens of millions of hours of care nationally. Although not formally part of the health and care workforce, they are hugely significant to the delivery of health and care and are in a position to spot deterioration early, and do something about it. The development of this tool puts this critical knowledge into their hands.”