What's it like being a carer?

(Last Updated On: October 2, 2018)

Healthwatch’s latest briefing brings together the views and experiences of 5,447 carers from over 27 communities across England, showing that that people don’t always get the support they need.

As we approach the publication of the government’s Social Care Green Paper, it’s vital that carers’ needs are considered a priority. This new briefing summarises Healthwatch’s research into the support available for carers, and their experiences, to shape the green paper process and to improve the accessibility and quality of support for carers.

The research suggests that:

  • Carers are not always aware of their rights to an assessment and information and advice.
  • Carers only start looking for help when they reach a ‘crisis’ point. Any delay in accessing support at this point has an adverse effect on their health and wellbeing.
  • Carers have to wait an average of 57 days for services once they request support. This, in and of itself, is not an overly long wait, the problem is that people are only requesting support when they have already reached crisis.
  • Many councils (48%) do not know how many carers are in their area, very few councils (30 or 23%) were able to say how long carers were waiting for services.

To find out much more you can reach Healthwatch at http://www.healthwatch.co.uk/contact-us

You can also call us here at Healthwatch Torbay on 08000 520 029,or call into our office in Paignton Library.

Bob Jope

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Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!