Carers Group Leads Forum (CGLF)
Terms of reference – 2015
Chair – Karen Walker (Carers Service centre manager)
The group leads were asked to ask themselves the question ‘so what?’ in regards to what happens in their groups, meaning what is the benefit of the group to group members and also for carers outside of the group, for example, if the Asian carers group ask a guest speaker to come in, or the group discuss an issue or concern that may be affecting them or other carers, how do they share that information with lots of other carers and what difference does it make on a larger scale. Being able to answer these questions, and evidence that this work has made a difference to the lives of many carers is the answer to the ‘so what’ question; and also provides us, and the commissioners who fund our service with valuable proof of the benefits of the service for carers.
The group has been set up in response to a genuine need to have support and working groups that not only support each other within the carers service but also act as a medium for developing clear pathways for ensuring opportunities for the discussion, sharing of information and any actions between the groups and management, and the dissemination of information within the wider community. The group agreed with this and said it would be very useful to get together to see what others groups are doing and as to how each can support each other and the service as a whole. In the main, this is especially in regards to having the opportunity to respond to national and local carers strategies, as this will ensure that carers voices, needs, wishes and feelings are heard and addressed and that they are able access the appropriate support and services they need that will help and include:
- ensuring a preventative approach and possibly delay the need for social or health services
- maintaining a good level of health and well-being
- remaining in their caring role for as long as they wish
The CGLF will provide the opportunity to utilise the vast amount of knowledge, skills and experience that the carers have who attend the groups within the service. This will bring a lot of benefits to the service as any issues or concerns in regards to carers can be discussed within the groups, giving way to more ideas and suggestions on how to take forward, and whereby actions to address, can be decided and acted upon, based on the skills, experience and actions of the all carers within the groups and the carers service as a whole.
Agendas will be a joint process of where all members of the group will be involved in identifying topics of discussion/activities/inviting relevant guest speakers to the forum meetings. The general consensus is any guest speakers will be identified within the individual groups and that this will be shared within the CGLF so that if relevant to other groups, a joining of groups will occur to ensure that information the guest speaker may have is shared across all the groups; this also supports the time that professionals have to offer, as opposed to duplication if having to attend several different groups within the centre.
All information gleaned and shared at the CGLCF will then be utilised and shared within the group leads individual groups, whereby any action plans will be decided by each group. Feedback and outcomes will then be shared with the CGLF forum and all other stakeholders and will be disseminated through several mediums including our newsletters, website, Facebook, Twitter etc.
The Group leads carers forum will also act as influencing body concerned with improving the lives of carers in Blackburn with Darwen (BwD): The long term view is that members of the group will work alongside local providers, Clinical Commissioning Group and BwD council commissioners to advise and make recommendations on the joint development of health, social care and related services for carers.
The CGLF is made up of staff and volunteers who lead on individual support and working groups within the carers service, and in partnership with PIP. Any lead for a new group that forms within the centre will have access to this forum
How will topics be generated?
Topic/activities/discussions will be generated based on any issues that are either identified as an issue, concern or general feedback from the individual groups or through any issues that management need to discuss with carers. All attendees will be requested to provide agenda items based on their individual group meetings and request that they are added to the agenda via admin.
Sharing of information and resources
Each group lead will have their own area on the BwD Carers Service website of which any news/reports/general information will be updated from the CGLF – it will be the responsibility of each group lead to ensure that their information from individual groups is provided to the admin team so that it utilised within all media tools to ensure it reaches all carers within the community.
Information will also be utilised by the service as a whole to share amongst other stakeholders including funders, commissioners etc.
Confidentiality – The group agreed that any items that needed to be discussed ‘confidentially’ would be undertaken at the end of the meetings with only relevant parties. These issues could NOT then be discussed outside of the identified party.
Evaluation of the CGLF
The benefits of this group and outcomes for members, individual groups, the service as a whole and all other stakeholders will be evaluated annually through several different feedback mechanisms
Meeting dates and times for 2017 – Bi- monthly on a Wednesday afternoons in Room Activity 2 at Kingsway:
WED 8th February 1- 3
WED 5th April 1- 3
WED 31st May 1 – 3
WED 26th July 1 – 3
WED 20th Sept 1 – 3
WED 15th Nov 1 – 3