39 people attended the first Annual Carers Conference held by Kingston Carers’ Network on 13th June 2014. The purpose of the event was to give carers the opportunity to have a stronger voice and to influence the way carer services are delivered.

We hope that this conference and the consultation will give carers the momentum and encouragement to get more involved in future consultations.

The suggested priorities (see below) were given to the discussion groups with the invitation to identify different priorities.

  1. Adequate support for the person you care for.
  2. Being listened to by health and social care professionals (because you know the person you care for best).
  3. Having more time for yourself – to take a break.
  4. More financial security.
  5. More employment options for carers.
  6. Access to independent advice and information on a range of issues.
  7. Help to get the benefits and allowances you and your family are entitled to.
  8. Services that help your health and wellbeing.
  9. Training or information to help you in your caring role.
  10. More involvement in hospital discharge planning

 

Feedback – priorities ranked in order by carers:

  1. Access to independent advice and information on a range of issues. Help to get the benefits and allowances you and your family are entitled to. (Carers tended to link the advice and advocacy to help with benefits and allowances).
  2. Adequate support for the person you care for.
  3. Being listened to by professionals. Linked to this were comments about the lack of value attached to caring. Carers wanted to feel that their caring role had the status that it deserves. Carers linked this to being more involved in hospital discharge planning.
  4. More time for yourself – to take a break. Some carers also said that they would like more activities for both carer and the person they care for.
  5. More training and information to help in your caring role.
  6. Services that help your health and wellbeing.
  7. More financial security – particularly for helping parent carers with planning ahead. More employment options for carers and help to assert carers’ rights.
  8. Other priorities that were suggested by carers were:
  9. The need to improve communication between service users, health and social care professionals and the voluntary sector.
  10. More disabled parking across the borough.