GP practices in Wiltshire going above and beyond for unpaid carers were recognised at the Carer Support Wiltshire Investors in Carers GP Accreditation Scheme Awards, which took place on Wednesday, 17th July at Devizes Town Hall.
The awards recognise and celebrate those Wiltshire GP practices who have met a number of requirements, including maintaining an up-to-date carer’s register, having a carer’s lead, providing flexible appointments for carers and holding a minimum of one carer’s clinic per year. The clinics are run in partnership with the CSW Community Connector team.
This year saw 28 practices receiving the highest possible platinum award – up from 17 last year. The new platinum level was introduced in response to the outstanding support to carers provided by many GP Practices in Wiltshire.
The scheme aims to raise awareness of carers’ issues in GP practices and provide a system of awards to recognise their support to carers.
Gabby Wright, Practice Nurse at Trowbridge Health Centre said: “The Carers GP Accreditation Scheme Awards are a great indication of how well supported Carers are through GP practices who are working alongside Carer Support, Wiltshire.
“It allows GP practices to all be held to the same high standards of support, which also means Carers throughout Wiltshire are able to find the information and help they require and it is readily available and easy to find.
“Here at Trowbridge Health Centre we are delighted that our hard work has been recognised with a platinum award for the second year running.”
According to a recent State of Caring Survey 2019, conducted by Carers UK of over 7,500 carers, 72% of carers responding said they had suffered mental ill health as a result of caring and 61% reported physical ill health as a result of caring. Almost two-thirds of carers (64%) say they have focused on the care needs of the person they care for and not on their own needs.
GP Practices continue to be the main source of referrals to CSW and are often the first point for a carer to acknowledge their caring role and access support. Holding carer clinics at GP surgeries in rural areas also means carers in isolated locations can access face to face support and information. From April 2018-March 2019 78 carer clinics were run at GP surgeries across Wiltshire, which assessed and supported the needs of 381 carers.
The awards were presented by Tim Burns, Commissioning Manager and Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, chair, both of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Carer Support Wiltshire’s service is jointly funded by Wiltshire Council and the NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.