The Core Study


Bristol Intensive Team Case Study

The role of the carer' champion was developed through our quality monitoring system in the team. Expressions of interest were made and Simon Smith took the lead in developing this role with the team's support. Simon has worked for AWP for 12 years in various roles and in several different teams, he had been working in the team as a recovery coordinator. Simon is very enthusiastic about and dedicated to this role. He first became interested in the role of working with carers around 6 years ago when he was working with a gentleman who tragically took his own life; when he first heard this news his first reaction was: 'who found him, and please don't let it be his young child who was living with him'. 

This had an impact and he began to reflect on his own practice around how we work with families and those close to the people we support. After some supervision talking about the situation and his thoughts and feelings the suggestion was made that he be considered the role of carers' Champion for the team. 

His role in the team has changed significantly over the last few months. A year ago he  would have been snowed under doing many different carers assessments for any person who was new to mental health services, and offering one to one support for them to look at how we can help with any of their needs. 

Over the last 18 months he has been working closely with Senior Management in the Trust to develop a new simpler system to register carers electronically on RIO. It was felt by many clinicians that registering a family member on RIO was so complex it was off putting, and as a result staff were either sat in front of a computer for hours or didn't complete the paperwork correctly, if at all. The new system which comes out in Bristol in the next few weeks will make it very easy to get a significant other registered as a carer, meaning staff can spend more time with the family doing face to face contact and offering support.

Simon has been supported to have four dedicated days to offer families and their significant others time to talk about their experiences, and give them a chance to discuss any fears, concerns and worries they might have. This also provides an opportunity to give them valuable information about different services that can offer them on-going support, whether this is looking at funding for a carers' break, advocacy, education or just a chance to meet and talk to people in a similar circumstance.