Unpaid carers have played a greater role than ever before in supporting people with their care needs, an incredible contribution in the fight against COVID-19. In addition to the direct support they provide, carers can play a vital role in sharing feedback about the care their family and friends receive.
Now the Because We All Care campaign is asking carers to share their experiences of the care their loved ones receive, positive or negative, across care homes, GP services, hospitals or in the home.
Highlighting the importance of the role of carers, Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England, said:
“Unpaid carers are the backbone of our health and social care systems and their commitment and compassion have never been more vital. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on both them and those they care for whilst also prompting a huge rise in the number of new people taking on caring roles, ranging from shopping for food and collecting medicine to providing emotional support.
And that is why we’re asking everyone who looks after their friends or family members to share their experiences of care services with their local Healthwatch.
Your feedback can help the NHS and social care providers understand what could be improved as they work hard to provide the best possible care during these difficult times. By sharing your experiences via our completely independent and confidential survey, you can help improve support for everyone in your local community.”
What have carers told us?
Research undertaken by CQC and Healthwatch England as part of the Because We All Care campaign has shown that:
- Unpaid carers are more likely than the general population to provide feedback on health and social care experiences on behalf of loved ones, with 67% reporting they give positive feedback on care.
- 58% of carers said they will be more likely to provide positive feedback on care after the coronavirus pandemic
- Carers are significantly more likely to have taken action to improve health and social care (71%) compared to the rest of the population (44%)
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“The changing priorities of our health and care services during the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on unpaid carers, and the last 10 months have been an extraordinary time for them. 81% are providing more care for their loved ones, often as a result of health and care systems temporarily reducing their services and relatives’ care needs increasing.
In many cases, unpaid carers have not got what they needed from these services, going for long periods without a break, not able to get the additional support they need, and in some cases reducing or giving up work altogether to care. Meanwhile some carers have been able to get the practical support they needed.
We encourage carers to have their say on their experiences of health and social care services during the pandemic – good and bad - so that the right improvements can be made for all carers.”
Share your experience
Our Because We All Care campaign aims to help services identify and address quality issues and support people by encouraging them to share feedback on their experiences of health and social care services in England. Thousands of people have already come forward to share their stories with their local Healthwatch. Here at Healthwatch Rotherham, we want to hear your views.
You can provide feedback in two ways:
Share your experience and encourage others to do the same on social media with the hashtag #BecauseWeAllCare
About the Care Quality Commission (CQC):
CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. CQC makes sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and they encourage care services to improve. CQC inspects health and social care services across the country and produces free, independent inspection reports to help individuals make an informed decision about where to turn to for their care. Each report assesses whether the services are safe, effective, compassionate and high quality.
CQC do not have responsibility for resolving individual complaints, however CQC encourages people who experience or know about poor care to inform the regulator to inform their inspection programme.
Healthwatch is the independent national champion for people who use health and social care services. Healthwatch aims to find out what matters to people and help make sure their views shape the support they need. There is a local Healthwatch service in every area of England. Healthwatch England supports local Healthwatch to find out what people like about services, and what could be improved, and shares these views with those with the power to make change happen. Healthwatch also helps people find the information they need about services in their area.
Nationally and locally, Healthwatch has the power to make sure that those in charge of health and social care services hear people's voices.