Meet our Carer Lead: Neil Grace

Neil Grace

At GMMH, we have a dedicated Carer Lead to work across services to ensure that carers are being identified, supported in their own right and involved in the care and treatment of the person accessing services.   The role includes developing and delivering training for staff, writing information resources for carers around mental health issues (confidentiality, carers rights, carers information packs) and supporting services to work more closely with carers.

What do you enjoy about the role? 

"The diversity of GMMH services means that the role is constantly changing and challenging.  My work changes often and my focus tends to be a direct result of what carers/family are telling us we’re doing well and where we can improve.”

What would you like to achieve?

“In the last three years since coming to GMMH, I’ve noticed many changes.  Staff and services are much more ‘carer aware’ and this is something I’m keen to build on.  Caring for somebody experiencing mental health issues can be confusing, demanding, isolating and rewarding at the same time-I want to know that GMMH is working hard to give our carers the information and input they need to relieve the pressure.”

Why is the role of Carer Lead an important one?

“Staff across the Trust see carers as everybody’s business.  Having a dedicated Trust carer lead (as well as local carer leads and carer champions) helps to ensure that our ‘Carers, family and friends Strategy’ (based on the priorities of our carers) is being embedded and that services have both the skills, the passion and the resources to really commit to this.”

If a carer wants to find out more about the support available to them, who should they speak to?

“Any member of our staff working with the person you provide support to.  Staff are very well aware of the importance of identifying, supporting and involving carers from the start of their employment with the Trust, so will be able to help you and direct you to our own carer resources available as well as local Carer Support Services in your area.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

"Just to say that my work is more meaningful when carers are involved-whether that be in designing and delivering carers awareness training to staff, using your lived experience as a carer to be a carer representative at team meetings/away days, being involved in audits/inspections and for consultation purposes.  If you’d like to get more closely involved in any of this work, please email carers@gmmh.nhs.uk."