What better time than the start of Carers Week to announce that Worcestershire Association of Carers has been awarded the Carers Trust  Carers Trust Excellence for Carers Quality Standard.  

Excellence for Carers is the Carers Trust organisational standard for best practice in delivering services, information and advice to unpaid carers. It is awarded to partner charities within the Carers Trust Network able to demonstrate both an existing excellence of service to unpaid carers and a culture that fosters continuous improvement and striving for excellence. Carers Trust developed the award so charities within its Network are continually evaluating and improving the quality of services, thereby improving the quality of life for unpaid carers across the UK. 

The award follows a rigorous assessment of WAC's services to unpaid carers, as well as the quality of its leadership, staff, internal processes and engagement with key local partners and stakeholders. WAC is only the fifth organisation to be awarded this standard

Charities achieving the Carers Trust standard must demonstrate quality of service to unpaid carers across ten key areas:

·         Outcomes and impact

·         Carer identification

·         Carer need

·         Information, advice and support

·         Sign-posting and navigation to sources of support and information

·         Peer support, emotional support and carers education

·         Working with, and on behalf of carers; formal and informal advocacy

·         Technology and digital

·         Partnerships, influence and sustainability

·         Carer involvement

In making the award, Carers Trust said in its report that “Worcestershire Association of Carers demonstrates a commitment and passion to their mission to identify and support Adult Carers at all levels, from the CEO, senior team and Board through to frontline support workers". The main strengths identified through documentary evidence and interviews are:

  • Everything is all about carers.
  • Open to listening, sharing feedback, learning and improving throughout
  • Clear that a quality improvement mentality is embedded.
  • Flexibility and rapid adaptability when the need for change arises 
  • “Can do” attitude to problems – always in search of solutions.
  • Extremely good reputation in the county.
  • Local nature of the organisation.
  • Strong partnership working and networking with all kinds of organisations and agencies.
  • Real passion for collaborative working at all levels
  • Good governance and strong management
  • Passionate and committed staff
  • Carer Involvement: clear proof of pathways and channels for carers to contribute feedback to WAC, that then feeds into various levels of decision-making around service provision

As well as signalling the quality of its services for unpaid carers, the WAC award means its partners, and stakeholders commissioning services from the charity, can be confident they are partnering with an organisation that has best practice hard-wired into its organisational DNA. 

Welcoming the award, Carole Cumino, Chief Executive Officer at Worcestershire Association of Carers said: 

“This award really matters to everyone at Worcestershire Association of Carers. We’ve always known that we are passionate about what we do, and we take great pride in that, so it's great to have this endorsed by external assessors from a national charity like Carers Trust.   This award tells us and the unpaid carers we work with that we are specialists offering specialist services.  But we improvement never stops, so neither will we. We'll carry on listening to carers and colleagues, and will work to continually to make sure our services meet the needs of carers in our area."