A record number of GP practices in Wiltshire were awarded the coveted Investors in Carers gold and gold plus awards at this year’s Carer Support Wiltshire Investors in Carers GP Accreditation Scheme annual awards evening last night.
The awards recognise and celebrate those Wiltshire GP practices who have gone above and beyond for unpaid carers. This year saw a record 44 receiving awards.
The scheme, funded by Wiltshire Council and the NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group aims to raise awareness of carers’ issues in GP practices and provide a system of awards to recognise their support to carers.
To achieve a gold award, practices needs to meet more than a dozen requirements that include maintaining an up-to-date carer’s register, have a carer’s lead, provide flexible appointments for carers and hold a minimum of one carer’s clinic per year.
“We are delighted that our hard work is being recognised by the GP Accreditation Awards. Supporting carers here at Adcroft is paramount and we will strive to keep our gold level standard when we become Trowbridge Health Centre and join forces with the current Bradford Road and Widbrook sites.” Laura McLeod from gold award winners Adcroft Surgery in Trowbridge.
Surgery carer health checks can often identify health conditions which unchecked could become more serious. 543 carers were seen at clinics in the last twelve months with 75 being referred for a follow on medical care because of a health concern identified at the appointment. Health issues identified include high BMI, diabetes, depression, substance misuse and back pain.
Since the start of the Investors in Carers scheme there has been improved identification of previously unknown carers, including young carers, with GPs being the main source of these referrals. The scheme features as an example in the NHS England Memorandum of Understanding toolkit for supporting carers and was shortlisted in the Integrated Commissioning for Carers category in the Health Service Journal awards in November 2016.
The awards ceremony took place on Thursday 13th July at Devizes Town Hall. Cllr Jerry Wickham and Dr Peter Jenkins, Clinical Chairman at Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group handed out the awards. The event was sponsored by Burnham Court in Malmesbury, an Abbeyfield development of independent living luxury apartments.