Building carer friendly communities – Dr Neil Churchill
To mark Health and Wellbeing Day which is part of National Carers Week running from June 6 to 12, NHS England’s Director of Patient Experience recognises the contribution Carers make to families and communities throughout the UK:
This year, Carers Week is focusing on building Carer Friendly Communities. Communities which support carers to look after their family or friends well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own.
The NHS has a part to play in making all communities more carer-friendly. For one thing, we need to recognise that carers are key partners in managing the care needs of the people they look after. That’s not all: carers also form a hugely significant group of patients who need particular support to look after their own health.
From simple one-off actions to ongoing commitments, there are all kinds of ways for health services to recognise carers’ role, involve and consult them about the treatment of the person they care for, and help them look after their own health at the same time.
To build and maintain carer-friendly communities, public services like the NHS, social care and education, need to work more closely together.
To mark Carers’ Week, NHS England has recently published a toolkit to help health services, social care and third sector organisations work together in a joined up way to identify, assess and support carer health and wellbeing. We are encouraging local partnerships to be carer aware and carer-friendly.
I am looking forward to seeing more fantastic programmes during the course of the week.
For many of us, the workplace is an important part of our community and it is important to acknowledge that around three million people currently juggle paid work with caring for a relative or close friend, whilst a staggering 2.3 million people have given up work to care. Women are more likely to be juggling work and care, something which will affect the NHS workforce in particular because of the fact that the vast majority of workers are women.
NHS England has committed to building a culture that is supportive of the community of carers in its workforce. All employees can access free resources through our partnership with Employers for Carers, including information about carers’ rights, flexible working and guides explaining more about being a carer.
Carers at NHS England also have the opportunity to join the Carers Network. This is an online community which provides sign-posting to useful information and contacts, and which also offers peer-to-peer support for those facing similar situations. I’m looking forward to the first meeting of the network which takes place in Carers’ Week.
By listening to and supporting NHS staff who are themselves carers, we will help the NHS become more carer-aware and effective at recognising and supporting carers.
Dr Neil Churchill is Director for Patient Experience at NHS England, where he leads improvement on non-clinical aspects of quality.
His brief includes NHS England’s Commitments to Carers, improving experience for people with cancer, working with users of learning disability services to improve quality, enhancing staff experience and learning from complaints and whistle-blowers.
Neil joined NHS England in 2013 after a 25-year career in the voluntary sector, at organisations including Barnardo’s, Age Concern, Crisis and Asthma UK.
He has been a Non-Executive Director for NHS South of England, an appointed member of the National Information Governance Board and a trustee of a number of charities.
Neil is a member of the Executive Board for the Beryl Institute and has a doctorate in art history from the University of Sussex. He lives in Sussex.
Latest News from
NHS to invest £52 million to fast track online maternity records18/06/2021 15:43:00
Every mum to be will be able to access their maternity records on their smart phones, England’s Chief Nurse yesterday announced.
NHS kicks off ‘CPR Army’ following footballer’s collapse18/06/2021 09:15:00
England’s top doctor is sending out an army of volunteers to teach CPR after international footballer Christian Eriksen was saved by quick thinking medics during the Euro 2020 match at the weekend.
Thousands of lives to be saved by health MOTs at NHS vaccination services16/06/2021 15:25:00
Health MOTs at NHS vaccination services, pharmacies and clinics are set to save thousands of lives, the health service’s Chief Operating Officer announced today.
Eliminating the risk of inadvertent connection to medical air via a flowmeter16/06/2021 12:30:00
A National Patient Safety Alert has been issued asking all providers that use piped medical air to eliminate the risk of inadvertently connecting patients to medical air via a flowmeter instead of oxygen.
21 and 22 year olds to be offered COVID-19 jab from today16/06/2021 11:10:00
Around one million people aged 21 and 22 will begin to be called forward this morning to get the coronavirus vaccine, as the NHS COVID Vaccination Programme enters the final phase of the first dose roll-out.
Patients with type 1 diabetes to get artificial pancreas on the NHS15/06/2021 16:20:00
An ‘artificial pancreas’ designed to revolutionise the life of people with Type 1 diabetes will be provided by the NHS, 100 years after the discovery of insulin, health service chief executive Sir Simon Stevens announced today.
NHS sets up specialist young people’s services in £100 million long COVID care expansion15/06/2021 14:20:00
The NHS is setting up specialist long COVID services for children and young people as part of a £100 million expansion of care for those suffering from the condition.
NHS pelvic health clinics to help tens of thousands women across the country15/06/2021 09:15:00
Tens of thousands of pregnant women and new mums will receive support to prevent and treat incontinence and other pelvic floor issues, thanks to new clinics set up by the NHS.