Former carers: The Way Ahead

New booklet launched by Care Alliance Ireland

The Way Ahead, a new booklet aimed at former family carers, was launched this week by Care Alliance Ireland.

The Way Ahead

This resource aims to help people who are no longer providing care to a partner, family member or friend, usually because the person has died or is living in residential care. It discusses feelings that former carers often have when their caring role has ended and gives information on practical matters and support services that may be available. The booklet also features quotes from former carers and short videos.

To produce this booklet, Care Alliance has worked with a number of former family carers and not-for-profit organisations, including the Irish Hospice Foundation, Health Service Executive (HSE) Ireland, University College Cork (UCC) and West Cork Carers Support Group. Funding has been provided by the National Lottery and the Department of Rural and Community Development via Pobal.

This booklet is available in hard copy and online from Care Alliance Ireland

Healthwatch Lancashire launches Learning Disabilities and Autism project

Healthwatch Lancashire has launched a project to hear the views of those who consider themselves to have a learning disability or autism, their families, carers and those who know them well, to find out what’s important to them in terms of their health and social care. 

An initial consultation took place with Learning Disability groups to identify what was important to them when accessing health or social care services.

Healthwatch Lancashire heard a range of experiences, with the most prominent being communication within hospital settings and the use of Hospital Passports. This key theme has formed the basis of an extensive programme of public engagement and an online survey.


Those who consider themselves to have a learning disability or autism, as well as carers, support workers and family members of those who have a learning disability or autism, can complete the following online survey:

‘Easy Read’ versions of this survey and engagement tools are also available. Please contact the Healthwatch Lancashire team at for these tools.

The feedback received will be used to compile a report that will be shared with those who plan, run and regulate health and social care services to highlight how these services can be improved for those who have learning disabilities or autism, their carers and families.

Sheralee Turner-Birchall, Chief Executive at Healthwatch Lancashire, said: “From our initial conversations, we are hearing that accessing certain services is difficult for people who have a learning disability or autism.

“This specific project aims to discover further their experiences and opinions so that providers and commissioners can hear first-hand what  is working well and where these services need to improve to enable equal access for people with learning disabilities or autism.”