Co-produced by the London Borough of Bexley and Bexley Voluntary Service Council, and led by Carers Support Bexley, a local carers’ charity, the Carers Well-being Hub was launched in April 2015.
The purpose of the Carers Well-being Hub is to identify carers in the borough as quickly as is possible, to support them to self-assess and to help them access services in the community which promote their wellbeing and meet their initial needs, alongside the person they are caring for.
The Carers Well-being Hub focuses on prevention and early intervention, as helping carers at the earliest opportunity reduces the likelihood that their needs will escalate in the future. Between January and March 2017, 56 carers were referred to the Carers Well-being Hub, which costs £52,000 a year to run.
Carers can refer themselves to the Hub but referrals also come from a network of organisations and groups in Bexley that are likely to encounter informal carers, which includes local libraries, hospitals, the council customer contact centre and GP surgeries. The London Borough of Bexley recognises that the majority of carers in the borough are likely to be older people, and so has targeted its outreach work and services to this age group.
The Carers Well-being Hub has a dedicated co-ordinator who manages referrals and ensures carers are accessing the services they need in a timely manner. In Bexley there is a diverse network of support available to carers, including a befriending service that offers respite breaks, advice on welfare support and a memory café aimed at people with dementia and their loved ones. The London Borough of Bexley communicates with carers in a range of ways, offering information packs or one-to-one visits with social care professionals depending on what is most appropriate.
Feedback from carers who have been referred to the Carers Well-being Hub has included enjoying newfound companionship through meeting other carers; accessing additional benefits that they were unaware they qualified for; appreciating an improved atmosphere at home; lowering stress and improving peace of mind.
Get more information on the London Borough of Bexley’s Carers Well-being Hub