NHS organisations across Lincolnshire will be renewing their commitment to recognising the invaluable contribution of carers as part of national carers week.
This year’s Carers Week runs from Monday 11 June, and provides an opportunity to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is joining forces with Carers First to promote the important role that carers play in our hospital and also raise the profile of Carers First to carers and health professionals.
ULHT Deputy Chief Nurse Jennie Negus said: “Carers know the patient better than any of us and our longer-term carers are likely to have the most incredibly valuable expertise and skill in caring for the patient and it is important that we recognise this and involve them in care decisions and discussions.
“One way we seek to do this is through our award winning caring for carers badge, which carers can wear on our wards and be visibly recognised for the important role they have and be involved however much they wish or need to be.”
The below activities have been planned each day during carers week and all will be open 10am to 2pm:
· Monday 11 June: Grantham and District Hospital – Information stand near outpatients entrance offering information and advice.
· Tuesday 12 June 1pm to 3pm: John Coupland Hospital, Gainsborough – Carers drop in morning in the main corridor offering benefits advice and an information stand.
· Wednesday 13 June: Boston Pilgrim Hospital – Information stand in main reception area. Carers will be signposted to an event in town for alternative therapy.
· Thursday 14 June: Lincoln County Hospital – Information stand in main reception. There will be benefits advice and alternative therapy for carers in the restaurant meeting room.
· Friday 15 June: Johnson Hospital, Spalding – Information and advice stand to be held in main hospital foyer.
In addition, GPs in Lincolnshire East are encouraging local carers to look after themselves as well as the people they care for.
Dr Stephen Baird, Chair of Lincolnshire East CCG said:
“We all know how easy it is to forget to take time out for ourselves, but what we sometimes don’t consider is the implications that this can have on our health. For people caring for friends or relatives with an illness or disability, this can prove even more serious.
“Caring can make it difficult to get enough sleep, bring injuries from lifting and moving the person with care needs, and make it difficult to find the time to prepare healthy food, exercise regularly and attend medical appointments.
“It’s important to remember that the best way to support the person that you’re caring for is to stay fit and healthy. Your GP can give you expert advice on how you can stay well and help to connect you to other useful carer support services and sources of information.”
In local mental health and learning disability services, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (LPFT) new Carer and Family Lead, Donna Bradford will be continuing the promotion of her new role in the organisation.
She said “I’ve been appointed to a six month pilot to see how we can improve the support for families and carers of people with a mental health problem.
“I’m working with our mental health wards, crisis teams and specialist services to raise the profile of the important role carers play in a patient’s journey; as well as accepting individual referrals for supporting first time carers, or those who may be having particular difficulties coping.”
During Carers Week the popular LPFT Lincoln carer’s education and support group will be taking place at Discovery House, St George’s, Long Leys Road, Lincoln, LN1 1FS from 6.30pm to 8.00pm on Thursday 14 June.
If people who care for someone with a mental illness would like support or more information about how they can help the person they care for, the group holds meeting every other Thursday. The Trust also holds a monthly group in Boston and more information is available from Donna Bradford, Family and Carer Lead, on 07802 569 995, [email protected]