Involving Carers in Healthcare Discussions – The Benefits

Written By Alla Levin
May 06, 2022

Involving Carers in Healthcare Discussions – The Benefits

No one knows a patient better than a committed carer responsible for their everyday needs. As well as professional carers there are 5.5 million family carers in the UK and the NHS recognizes that many face a continual challenge to be recognized as a voice of authority on the health and wellbeing of their charges.

Layman’s knowledge

The medical profession does wonderful things in terms of medication and therapy regimes, but it is impossible for them to truly know their patients, their unique personalities, and how their physical and mental health is affected on a daily basis, whereas their carer actually does.

Decisions are made on a patient’s behalf without taking their loved one’s wealth of knowledge and experience about the person into account. Failings are still made; especially with the most vulnerable members of our society including those in secure mental health services. The NHS Five Year Forward Review continues to try to find new ways to support family carers who can offer a unique and valuable perspective on healthcare services and how they could be improved.

Carers need care too

Many carers have suffered trauma and distress by virtue of the very nature of caring for a vulnerable loved one especially someone who is having a mental health crisis. Stress relief tips for live-in carers are important – whatever affects a vulnerable patient affects their carer too and this symbiotic relationship should be considered by medical health professionals.

This way, their patient actually receives the best possible care from their loved one. Unfortunately; many carers have felt marginalized or ignored by professionals whilst their loved one is insecure services; failing to be included in the care plan and indeed; having to fight to get the right help and information.

A handy toolkit

The feedback offered by carers has led to n NHS toolkit for commissioners, staff, providers, and carers themselves. Carers play a key role in helping a patient get better and their invaluable contribution needs to be respected and recognized; as does the contribution of professional carers and their service providers such as care at home services.

Relieving the pressure

More effective care not only helps the patient and their carer; it actually relieves the burden on health care services and enables more efficient use and distribution of resources.

This commitment to carers is not just for those involved in mental health services but all carers and professional homecare services can be an essential part of a patient’s recovery. Not only can it remove the strain from a family member, but it provides one-to-one support that enables a loved one to get back to the familiarity of home and also back into the wider community as well as reducing the chances for secure services involvement in the future.

A family member can also feel more comfortable discussing their concerns about their loved one with someone coming into the home environment. After all, this could be a person who can see first-hand what the client needs.

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