One of our Carer Confident Ambassador employers has provided us with a case study to tell us their experience of applying for Carer Confident and the benefits that have come with with this.
Anne Power, Staff Networks Coordinator at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust has worked with us over the last four years. The Trust is the first organisation to have applied and succeeded at each Carer Confident level, finally becoming Ambassador in November 2022. Anne highlights below their experience of the Carer Confident process.
Could you tell us a bit about your experience applying for and moving up all the three levels of the Carer Confident benchmarking scheme?
CNWL’s journey to Carer Confident began in 2019 following our Carers at Work (CAW) network presenting to the Board on the benefits of doing this work. The Carer Confident information online is very prominent and accessible and Employers for Carers has always been close to support with questions and information. Being informed about the three levels and the progressiveness of the five key criteria really helps to envisage the development.
In reviewing our progress three key areas come to mind:
- CNWL now has more than 10,000 employees working in over 200 sites. Our Carer Confident work helped us to identify and centralise information relating to working carers. This information is largely on our Carers at Work intranet page and in our Carers at Work Handbook (also available online).
- We were able to amend the wording in policies to specifically refer to carers.
- The different components and corporate functions of CNWL all contributed to our Carer Confident work. For example, the work of the Patient and Carer Involvement Team and our Carers Council created a 2.5 hour workshop called ‘Carer Awareness: a co-produced workshop’. This piece of work was on top of all the work our Carers at Work Network do.
Has being a Carer Confident employer, including promoting your logo and status, improved your organisation’s recruitment and retention of carers?
All CNWL’s external web pages ‘flaunt’ the EFC logo and Carer Confident accreditation. It is clear to us that working carers are signing up to the Carers at Work Network much quicker and accessing support much earlier.
Would you recommend the Carer Confident benchmarking scheme to other organisations? And why?
I would most definitely recommend Carer Confident benchmarking to any organisation whether it be big or small. Going through the benchmarking levels and criteria really helps to identify individuals who are carers, putting information out there really helps people feel supported and helps others be knowledgeable. Doing this in-depth work has really helped us highlight carers at every opportunity all across our Trust.
There is no-one who is exempt from potentially becoming a carer, and national numbers back this up. Carers can help the people they care for stay at home, help with their independence and with their safety and comfort whatever their situation. Carers often give time and support above their means and often there is a financial implication too. Carer Confident benchmarking really helps to hone in on these facts and tease out compassion and support in a well-documented way that is accessible to all staff and working carers.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Organisations are probably already supporting working carers more than they think. There are only gains from completing this work.
The Carer Confident benchmarking scheme assists employers to build a supportive and inclusive workplace for staff who are, or will become, carers and to make the most of the talents that carers can bring to the workplace. If your organisation is interested in becoming Carer Confident, you can find more information here.