IHW Carers Week 2021 event: staff share their experiences

On 09 June 2021, Institute of Health and Wellbeing marked Carers Week by holding a webinar for staff carers and those interested in staff carer issues.

Photo of park with trees and bench

The event was organised by Athena SWAN older workers group and Athena SWAN maternity, paternity, flexible working and carer issues group, and chaired by Professor Cindy Gray.

To start with, Mr Chris Branney from University of Glasgow Human Resources presented an overview of University of Glasgow’s Staff carer policy including the initial data on uptake of paid carer’s leave. His talk was followed by speakers from two charities, including Carers Scotland and Carers Trust and about the support they offer to all unpaid carers, including staff, students and young carers. The event was then concluded by a recorded presentation from the team of the University of Strathclyde HR advisors, a university that is greatly involved and proactive in recognising and helping its staff carers and a university that achieved the Exemplary Carer Positive Employer in Scotland status, the highest possible.

Carers Trust UK recently conducted a survey of unpaid carers and their experiences with Social care services during the Covid-19 pandemic. You can hear the summary of findings in Jana Anderson’s talk or read the full report. The data collected showed a devastating impact caring for someone can have on a person, this was already very difficult before the pandemic and became greatly magnified since the pandemic started. To understand whether staff carers in the IHW are impacted in a similar way and what the IHW as a whole and the line managers of staff with caring responsibilities can do to help, we asked similar questions in our Mentimeter survey. The survey was conducted during the webinar and it was available to complete by the IHW staff carers for the duration of the Carers Week 07 to 13 June 2021.

Thank you to all those staff carers working in IHW who completed the anonymous survey; it is clear that the situation is difficult, and we appreciate you sharing your experiences and thoughts with us.

We have produced a summary of the findings which can be viewed below. (Slides move on every 7 seconds to allow time to read the content and there is no accompanying soundtrack). Some relate to an overall support required by the society, some are specific to working in IHW. The data will be reviewed by Athena SWAN self assessment team (SAT) group and any possible actions that could help our staff carers will be discussed and identified.

IHW staff carers share their experiences

Jana Anderson 
Chair, IHW Athena SWAN maternity, paternity and carer group

First published: 2 May 2018