Carers Forum

Closed 15 Mar 2012

Opened 14 Mar 2012

Feedback updated 10 Jul 2012

We asked

What do you think about our plans for the future of the local NHS?

You said

Carers need more information about what to expect when caring for someone with certain health conditions.

We did

We have set up a carers working group and are working with the Carers Forum to provide expert speakers at new training courses for carers.

Results updated 20 Mar 2012

The NHS is in a period of significant changes.

On the 14 March, we spoke to Stockport's Carers Forum to inform them of the changes taking place locally and to ask for their views on priorities for the new Clinical Commissioning Group.

The group were given a presentation of how the local NHS is changing in line with national policy.  This included details of

  • the structure of the new Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
  • how it will operate
  • it’s priorities and ambitions
  • how the CCG plan to involve patients in all decision making processes.

The Carer’s Forum expressed their overall support for the CCG’s plans, which they felt would make a positive impact on local healthcare.

In particular, the group gave strong support to the CCG’s priority around improving services to carers and to patients with long-term conditions.

It was felt that more attention should be paid to carers’ health – both mental and physical. Suggestions for improvement included:

  • regular health checks for carers
  • improved access to GP appointments
  • a Carers Champion in each GP Practice
  • a single point of access to health services for Carers
  • clearer guidance about support available and how to access it
  • training for carers on the medical conditions of patients they care for.

It was also stressed that Carers Grant money should be ring fenced and not used in other areas of the budget. 

Carers fed back that they often felt that engagement was ‘just a talking shop’. They welcomed the CCG’s plans to embed public engagement/consultation into their decision making process as a mandatory requirement before decisions are taken and plans for feedback reports to be circulated to groups after consultations.

The group were asked:

  • do you feel the CCG has chosen the right priorities – or have we missed anything?
  • have we been realistic in our collective ambition?
  • do you think we are doing enough to involve local people.

The following comments were received:


  • Focus on carers health - both mental and physical
  • Emotional support advocacy for carers
  • Carers need more support full stop
  • Spend Carers grant money on carers, not elsewhere
  • A Carers Champion within GP practices
  • Must understand carers role is a 24hr job
  • Own personalisation budget for carers
  • Regular health checks for carers
  • Improved access to GPs  - i.e. reduce waiting time for appointment
  • Improved access to physiotherapy services / occupational therapists etc
  • One point of access into all parts of the service. Carers have to go all round the houses to get to the right place/person
  • Training for carers on managing conditions
  • Give carers info/actions/telephone numbers
  • Clear pathways re conditions
  • Publicise excellent services like Oasis for Carers
  • Encourage the re-use of equipment
  • Services should be accepting of different care decisions


Collective ambition

  • On personal responsibility for health – carers need ‘clearer’ guidance re accessing specific support (what, where, when, how)


Local Involvement

  • Can be useful but often only talking shops
  • Carer input into Governing body – carer ‘rep’ on Patient Panel
  • They listen but they do not heard.


Questions asked:

Q.     Why don’t GPs offer more appointments out of hours?

A.     The vast majority of Stockport GPs do offer appointments outside of normal working hours. However we are aware that there are significant numbers of patients who go straight to ED without even attempting to visit their GP first, and this is why we are prioritising unscheduled care. This will ensure we are only paying for these patients to receive treatment once.

Q.     Why are small pieces of equipment not taken back by health services – it’s such a waste of money?

A.     This scheme is a national directive as part of Transforming Equipment Services.  It was found that it was more cost effective for patients to dispose of small pieces of equipment than for services to collect, store and sterilise equipment.

Q.     What is the percentage of GPs taking dementia training?

A.     One of the priorities of the new CCG is to improve early diagnosis of dementia and care of patients with dementia. Part of this project will be training for GPs on spotting dementia and local treatment options. Once this project is up and running we will monitor GP access to training and report back on uptake.

Q.     When patients are told they are pre-diabetic they are told to go away with no support then come back in a year – what support is there?

A.      NHS Stockport runs a Lifestyle Service, which includes Weight Management, Nutrition & Dietetics, Food & Health advice, as well as Smoking and the Alcohol Service. These services will be able to advise pre-diabetic patients on lifestyle changes to prevent onset of the condition and to improve general health. One of the priorities for the CCG is to increase GP referrals to these services. The local NHS also has ‘Expert Patient’ courses for those with long term conditions such as diabetes to help them manage their condition. One of the recommendations from this group was to extend this to include pre-diabetic patients to help prevent people getting diabetes.

Q.     Will the CCG be consulting on what needs to be cut to save the £75m pounds over 3 years?

A.      The CCG has public consultation embedded into its decision making process - this means that any decisions around making savings / cuts will have to have been consulted upon before any decisions are made. We will ensure that information about any consultations on cuts are forwarded to the Carers Forum.

Q.     Will Carers be able to get their own personalised healthcare budget like the current pilot system in adult social care?

A.      The NHS is looking at personalised budgets for patients with long-term conditions. Where the patient is unable to make decisions for themselves, the budget may be assigned to the carer to use on the patient’s behalf, but this will be decided nationally by the NHS.


Consultation with local carers about their views on future plans for Stockport's NHS.

Signpost for carers logo

14th March 2012


  • All Areas


  • Carers


  • Cancer
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Mental Health
  • COPD
  • Vaccination
  • Stroke
  • Sexual Health
  • Heart Disease
  • Weight
  • General Practice
  • Hospital Care
  • Pharmacy
  • Screening
  • Dentistry
  • Community Clinics
  • Intermediate Care
  • End of Life Care
  • Prescription Medication
  • Optometry
  • Unscheduled care
  • Surgery
  • Out of Hours Care