What is a Carers' Assessment?
It is a short assessment to see what your needs are and how we can support and help you as a carer. This assessment is completely confidential between you and the person assessing.
An assessment can take place in a venue you feel comfortable in, either at home or at one of the carers' clinics held around the Trust.
We can liaise with mental health teams, both inpatient and community, either with you or on your behalf.
We can refer to voluntary organisations who offer a whole range of services open to carers.
Who can complete an assessment?
The person you care for or support will have a named person responsible for their care who is called a "Care Co-ordinator". A care co-ordinator can make a referral for a Carers' Assessment on your behalf, or you can self refer by contacting your local mental health duty team.
Any mental health care professional can complete an assessment, but they are usually completed by the Carers' Assessment Workers.
The carers' assessment workers sit within community mental health teams but are very much a team of two.
Jane Hollins and Sue Smith are the carers' assessment workers who cover the whole of South Staffordshire. They work with carers who are supporting someone with mental health difficulties of working age 16 – 65 years.
They complete a comprehensive assessment to establish the carer's needs. This is a short assessment but worth while as it makes carers feel that they have a voice and someone is listening to their worries and concerns.
Carers have the legal right to a confidential assessment. This was highlighted within the Community Care Act of 1980 and NSF Standard 6 Caring for Carers.
The assessment can take place in a venue the carer feels comfortable in; this could be at home or at a carers' clinic, which are held around the Trust. This gives an opportunity for the carer to talk openly away from the person they care for.
How we make a difference
Our aim is to ensure the quality of a carers life and role is understood and acknowledged. We act as an informal advocate for carers when needed and offer a very much needs led service. We have strong links within the community mental health teams and third sector organisations, such as the Carers Association and the mental health help line.
To contact us telephone
Jane Hollins 01827 308820
Tamworth, Lichfield, Burntwood, Uttoxeter, Burton.
Sue Smith 01543 431580
Cannock Chase, Rugeley, Stafford, Seisdon and South Staffordshire.
- East Staffs Carers Group
Venue:- Andrew Ward, Sir Robert Peel Hospital, Tamworth. B78 3NG
Contact:- Jane Hollins, Carers Assessment Worker, East Locality. 01827 308820
The group is for carers, relatives and friends of people who suffer from mental health Issues. The group is informal and people can attend whenever they wish. The group is held on the 1st Monday of each month and runs from 6.00pm - 8.00pm. (Groups will run a week later when it has been a Bank Holiday).
The group is staffed by South Staffs and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust employees and all are clinicians in different fields.
You can contact Jane direct on the above number, just turn up to the Group or ask Community Health Team/Ward Staff for more details.
- South Staffs Carers Group
Venue:- St Chad's Spiritual Room, St Chad's House, St George's Hospital, Stafford
Contact:- Sue Smith, Carer's Assessment Worker, 01543 431580
The group primarily is for carers, relatives and friends of people who suffer with a severe or enduring mental health problem. It is an informal group that people can attend at their will. It is run on the last Wednesday of each month from 6.00 to 8.00pm. The group is supported by staff from South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, all of whom are clinicians. There is no referral needed, just turn up on the night.
Telford and Wrekin
Main contact number 01952 240209
The Trust carer engagement standards have been adapted from the Triangle of Care as this is the model the Trust has agreed to adopt and implement
Standard One: Carers' Play an essential role & should be identified at first contact or as soon as possible
- Identification of a carer should be a routine part of a service users assessment
- Carers views and knowledge should be routinely sought throughout assessment, care planning, intervention and review where there are consent issues regarding carer involvement this should be routinely re-visited
- The carer should be routinely updated and involved in planning and review / discharge meetings
- Treatment and strategies for medication management should be explained to carers
- Carers should have access to advice re advocacy, equipment and welfare rights
Standard Two: Staff need to be "carer aware" and trained in carer engagement strategies
- All clinical staff should receive carer awareness training
- Clinical supervision should address carer engagement and awareness
- The Trust should identify staff who are carer champions and who support staff and input into awareness training
- A Carer Engagement Forum is in place to consider ongoing awareness and engagement issues
Standard Three: The Trust should have in place and review regularly practice protocols regarding confidentiality and sharing of information
- Service user consent should be sought to share information and the level of information which can be shared as a routine part of assessment and re-visited regularly
- Carers should be offered support and general information even when consent has not been agreed with the service user
- Carers should be encouraged to share information regarding the service user as this will inform assessment, planning, intervention and review/discharge
- Advance statements or directives should be routinely discussed with service users
Standard Four: The Trust should ensure carers are introduced to the service and staff, with relevant range of information available across the range of care pathways
- Carers should be provided with information about the service on first contact or as soon after as is possible
- Information should explain the service and points of contact
- Carers are offered an early formal appointment to hear their story and address any carer concerns
- Carers should be offered information regarding therapeutic interventions, diagnosis and medication monitoring
- A Trust information pack should routinely be provided to carers as part of the introductory process
- The format of information provided by the Trust is flexible and regularly updated
- Carers should be made aware of the PALS and complaints process
Standard Five: The Trust should ensure that a range of carer support is available
- The Trust has a carer support service in place
- Carers should have access to local advocacy services
- Carers should have access to 1:1 support when needed
- Carers are offered a carers assessment and where appropriate a support package
- Family therapy or talking therapies are offered to carers if required