The bite size videos on VNHSW website are the result of an initiative to improve support for carers of veterans in our service. We have been aware from many years of working with veterans and their families that being a carer of a veteran brings unique challenges and support needs and the importance of acknowledging and meeting these needs.
The process involved a number of steps: discussion within VNHSW team about our current provision; consultation with carers themselves and conversations with veteran organisations that routinely support carers.
We dedicated some time to thinking about what we currently provide and from this devised a survey that we sent out to carers who had historically and currently had contact with our service. We were keen to understand the specific needs that came with caring for a veteran and what carers themselves identify would help with these. This provided us with some rich data from which we were able to identify key areas of support - carers needed support in looking after their own wellbeing; they wanted more information on specific disorders such as PTSD and how it is treated and finally how best they could support their veteran whilst he/she was undergoing treatment.
Discussions with veteran organisations such as Woody's Lodge helped us consolidate our thoughts about the information that carers wanted and also explored the best means of delivering this information. We agreed that some small videos that could easily be accessed via our website would be the most effective means of doing this. We would welcome any feedback and how we can improve this page and videos.