Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire have been invited to work with the Commitment to Carers Programme team at NHS England and Improvement to capture the experiences of Carers who have had family or friends, or the person they care for, in hospital for elective or emergency admissions in the last six months.

The aim of the project is to understand from a carers perspective what processes/outcomes are most important to get right and what best practice should look like before leaving hospital.

We are looking for Carers, friends or family members, who would be prepared to take part in a short interview, to learn more about their recent experience of caring for a person who was admitted to hospital, what their time was like in the hospital immediately prior to discharge and after discharge. We want to understand how we can help to improve how carers are identified, recognised and supported during this difficult time. There are no right or wrong answers to the questions – we are just interested in your views – all responses will be kept confidential.

The interview can take place in your own home at a time most convenient to you, or we can arrange to meet in a setting of your choosing if this is your preference. All participants will be offered a £25 gift voucher of their choice for taking part as long as the Carer, family member or friend meets the criteria of caring for someone who was recently discharged from hospital (ideally in the last six months).

Once all the interviews are completed we will be arranging a focus group with representatives from the local authority / social care (carers lead), acute hospital Carers lead/discharge team leader, and a health commissioner involved in the discharge process from the CCG, to feedback the results from all the interviews and to ask what actions they will take as a result of the feedback provided.

If you are a Carer, family member or friend who has cared for someone recently discharged from hospital, and would like to take part in the project, please get in touch directly with Annette Brown, Engagement Officer at Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire by email to annette.brown@healthwatch-centralbedfordshire.org.uk or telephone the office on 0300 303 8554 and speak to a member of the team.

Ideally, we would like to conduct the interviews in early December 2021 so please get in touch as soon as possible and also pass this email on to anyone you feel would be interested in taking part.