40 Caring for carers: a social worker and nurse-led hospice model

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IntroductionMarie Curie recognises the contribution that carers make to the support and wellbeing of those diagnosed with terminal illness.1Their 2012 report highlighted a lack of support for carers as well as the associated negative social and economic impact of caring for a dying relative. The Carers UK Report, 20142 found that nearly 6000 people become carers every day, with £1.1 billion of Carers’ Allowance going unclaimed each year.AimsThe understanding and appreciation of challenges faced by carers led to the establishment of a dedicated Carers’ Clinic at Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead, London in April 2016. The aim was to support carers, with the focus on answering their questions and addressing their concerns.MethodsThe model was social worker and nurse-led. A modified version of the Carers Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) was used as the basis for the consultation3 and a questionnaire evaluation was completed following the clinic appointment.ResultsBetween April 2016 and March 2017 there were 31 consultations with 23 evaluations completed. Both quantitative and qualitative data was captured. 83% of respondents said that the clinic met their needs. Many carers requested follow-up sessions. The key themes identified were around financial advice, carers’ health needs and support with managing their relatives’ illness.ConclusionThe Carers Clinic is now established in the hospice. Further developments include the establishment of a new service enabling carers to be referred for six sessions of pre-bereavement support, as well as a plan to implement an 8 week mindfulness programme.References. Marie Curie (2012) Committed to Carers; Supporting Carers of People at the End of Life, Marie Curie. pp.4-5, 7-8, 11–12. Carers UK (2014) Need to know; Transitions in and out of Caring: The Information Challenge. Carers UK. pp.4.. Ewing, G & Grande, G. (2013) Development of a Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) for End-of-Life Care Practice at Home: A Qualitative Study. Palliative Medicine; 27 (3) pp.244–256.

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