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Family and Carer Support Service – what the Service provides • A needs-led service with an open referral system • Needs assessment • Emotional support/listening ear • Preventing family breakdown and helping to optimise quality of life • Information and advice • Primary and secondary stroke prevention • Practical help (eg form filling for benefits, advocacy) • Signposting • Home and hospital visits • Encouraging compliance with and explaining treatment
Family and Carer Support Service (FCSS) – commissioning relationship with NHS Lewisham • Service commissioned in 1993 – an identified need for such a service • Originally funded by the then Health Authority • Current Co-ordinator in post since 1999 • New Service Level Agreement for the FCSS agreed in 2007 with clearly defined outcomes, data collection and monitoring requirements • Re-commissioning of the Communication Support Group in May 2009 • At least twice yearly meetings for service updates • The Family and Carer Support Co-ordinator attends the Stroke Commissioning Group meetings
Family and Carer Support Service – challenges setting up a Service • Inappropriate referrals • Having an inaccessible base • Promoting the service • Limited resources • Staff competencies • Defining the role of the Co-ordinator • Possible duplication of services • Lack of recognition of the benefits of the Service
Family and Carer Support Service – positive outcomes • Stroke survivors, their families and carers and those with a TIA have a contact point in the community • Clients are followed through from hospital into the community • Close working relationship between the Co-ordinator and the rehabilitation teams in and out of hospital and with other external agencies • Assisting with navigation through health and social care systems • Addressing the varied and complex needs of carers • Health promotion • Empowering stroke survivors and helping them to re-build their confidence and self esteem • Attendance at the Neurovascular Clinic, multidisciplinary team meetings on the stroke ward etc
Family and Carer Support Service – lessons learnt • There must be joined up working between health, social care and voluntary organisations • Key worker role is vital • Sufficient funding is needed • Close working between hospital and community is imperative • Clients and their families/carers need information and at different times throughout their stroke journey • The needs of younger stroke survivors must be addressed
Stroke helpline Website 0845 3033 100 www.stroke.org.uk