Who is a carer?
A carer is someone who takes on the responsibility of providing unpaid care on a regular, recurring or fluctuating basis for another individual who needs help. In our case this will be for someone who needs services because of a mental health problem. This caring relationship will have an impact on the lives of both parties; it can improve immeasurably the life of the cared-for person, and can be a source of satisfaction for the care-giver. But often the carer’s situation and prospects are affected in a negative way by the caring role, and this document has been put together in order to address the ways in which the best possible benefit can be gained from this caring relationship.
We know that we need to take account of our diverse community. Carers can be part of the family, partners in a heterosexual or same-sex relationship, a neighbour, friend, or simply an acquaintance. They can be of any age, of any religious leaning, of any social, cultural or ethnic group. There is no such thing as a typical carer.
Why are carers important to Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust?
The Trust needs what carers can give. A carer might be the only constant in an individual’s life. The carer knows the service user best, especially their full potential when well, and is the person least likely to give up. The carer helps us to see the service user as an individual, often has a perspective on every aspect of the person’s life, and can be a spokesperson for someone unable to describe their own situation, whether they are well or unwell.
Carers can play an important role in encouraging service users to be independent and to regain control of their lives. They can help us ensure that the care plan is appropriate and is happening the way it’s supposed to; warn us when there is risk or when relapse is imminent; pull together information about all the factors in the service user’s life. Carers can contribute their expertise and experience to our long-term planning. Working with carers helps us to achieve the best outcomes not only for the service user but also for our staff and services in general.
It is a legal requirement for carers to be offered an assessment at least once a year. This does not mean that someone is judging how good you are at looking after the person you care for. It is simply a way of making sure that your own needs are looked after.
The Assessment examines ways to reduce the stress, worry and demanding workloads that many carers experience. It can be a very useful way of improving the difficult aspects of caring. If you are not offered a Carer Assessment soon after the patient is admitted to hospital please speak to the patient’s Care Coordinator. They are also responsible for carrying out Carer Assessments.
Voicenews - This newsletter has been launched to improve communication with our service users and carers and provide an equal opportunity to all who want to become involved.
Healthy Caring Guide
NHS England, in partnership with Carers UK, Carers Trust Age UK, Public Health England, and older carers themselves, has published a Practical Guide to Healthy Caring.
The Guide provides information and advice to carers about staying healthy whilst caring and identifies the support available to help carers maintain their health and wellbeing.
While it is aimed at carers of any age, it is particularly relevant for carers aged around 65 years and those new to caring.
Please click on the title to view the document:
Carer's Strategy - Currently under review
Lancashire Mulit-Agency Carer's Strategy
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers - The Princess Royal Trust for Carers is the largest provider of comprehensive carers support services in the UK
Mental Health Care - This website contains information for family members and friends of people who have psychosis
Burnley, Pendle & Rossendale Council for Voluntary Service (BPRCVS) - CVS is a local development agency which exists to develop, support and promote voluntary action and charitable activity
Carers UK - Carers UK is the voice of carers
Rethink - Rethink, the leading national mental health membership charity, works to help everyone affected by severe mental illness recover a better quality of life