Research

Improving Health Outcomes for Older and Young Adult Carers

Resource title: An Evaluation of the Improving Health Outcomes Programme
Published: 2014    Author: Carers Trust

In 2011, Carers Trust was selected by People’s Health Trust to coordinate the delivery of health related projects managed by Carers Trust Network Partners across England, Scotland and Wales. An evaluation, casebook of projects and research into older carer's thoughts about services detail the projects. 

Key points

  • The aim of the programme was to improve the physical health and emotional wellbeing of carers across England, Scotland and Wales.
  • An assessment of this programme was conducted and key findings captured in: An Evaluation of the Improving Health Outcomes Programme.
  • Two supporting publications related to this funding programme were also produced: Improving the Health of Carers: A Casebook of Projects report  and Older Carers' Voices and Stories: The Personal Impact of Funding report.

About the resources

An Evaluation of the Improving Health Outcomes Programme

As part of its Healthy Places, Healthy People funding programme, Network Partners in locations pre-determined by People’s Health Trust were invited to submit project proposals detailing how they would spend funding to develop effective services to improve health outcomes for either older carers (those aged 60 plus) or young adult carers (aged 16–24) from socio-economically disadvantaged communities.

Programme aim

The overarching aim of the programme was to improve the physical health and emotional wellbeing of carers across England, Scotland and Wales.

For older carer projects, Network Partners’ aims were divided into two categories, with Network Partners opting for either category:

  • Increase the opportunities for older carers to access activities aimed at improving health outcomes.
  • Increase the ability of older carers to access breaks from their caring role and improve the emotional, physical and/or financial health of older carers.

For all young adult carers projects, the specific aims were:

  • Improve the life chances of young adult carers.
  • Increase access to and/or develop support structures to enable young adult carers to move from appropriate children’s services to adult services.
  • Increase the support available for young adult carers to make informed choices about their own physical and mental health.

31 Network Partners were awarded funding in 30 geographical areas. 23 Network Partners planned to work on developing services for older carers, and eight Network Partners aimed to work with young adult carers. The grant available for each area was £40,000 for 12 months during 2012–13.

Evaluation of the programme

The evaluation of the programme concentrated on the project design and the impacts created for the beneficiaries supported by the projects. It also looked at the wider impact of the grant funding on the Network Partners.

Improving the Health of Carers A Casebook of Projects

This report takes an in-depth look at nine projects funded through the Improving Health Outcomes programme. The report highlights the practical lessons from these projects about how to set up and deliver local support.

Older Carers’ Voices and Stories: the Personal Impact of Funding

This report aims to bring together older carers’ thoughts and feelings about dedicated services and activities delivered by Carers Trust Network Partners under the Improving Health Outcomes programme and the positive impact it has had on their lives.

Opinions were gathered from 39 older carers who attended six focus groups held with Network Partners at Redbridge Carers Support Service, Derbyshire Carers Association, Helensburgh and Lomond Carers, Hillingdon Carers, North Argyll Carers Centre and Carer Support Wiltshire. These provide a taste of the challenges older carers have to face on a daily basis and how just a little funding and support can have a significant and often life changing impact on carers’ health and wellbeing.