Reflections on Commitment to Carers – have we made a difference

The Experience of Care team, in partnership with NHS England, the Royal College of Practitioners, Carers Trust and Carers UK held an event on Friday 5 December: ‘Commitment to Carers – Have We Made A Difference’.  Louise Fowler, National Improvement Lead in the  Experience of Care team at NHS IQ reflects on the event. 

This event was meant to be a culmination and bringing together all that has been achieved by the collaboration over the last year. About 100 people participated, which included a range of commissioners, providers, carer organisations, Health & Wellbeing Board members, NHS England representatives and carers themselves.

Jane Cummings, Chief Nurse, gave a moving plenary from her own perspective as a carer, linking in the importance of ensuring that the ‘6 Cs’ incorporated the needs of carers throughout.

Several ‘products’ were launched or showcased: Commissioning Support Principles for Carers, Social Impact Evaluation (to be launched next week), NHS IQ Carers Evidence Summit report E book and the RCGP Caring for Carers Hub.  The audience members were given a flavour of how they are to be used in practice in a session.  Participants were offered a scenario based on a hypothetical  health economy, and were given the opportunity to answer questions and solve issues. Along the way they were given information to help them in their decision making,  elements that would challenge their thinking and extra facts that would support their knowledge to help reach some informed commissioning decisions. This culminated in a session where participants presented their action plans.

A successful ‘Question Time’ session based on the television series format was held in the afternoon, with a wide ranging and eminent panel who received challenging questions from the audience. This was chaired by Helena Herklots, the CEO of Carers UK.

There was a huge amount of passion and willingness to share evident in the room which offered a great learning opportunity for participants. Overall, it was felt to be a successful day!

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