Carers

 

Carers look after family; partners or friends in need of help because they are ill, frail or have a disability. The care they provide is unpaid.  This includes adults looking after other adults, parent carers looking after disabled children, and young carers under 18 years of age looking after siblings, parents or other relatives.' (Carers' UK).

 

Do you look after someone?

Do you look after an elderly, frail or disabled friend or relative who could not manage without you? Is this care unpaid?

These carers support leaflets, created by Action for Carers Surrey, provide useful advice and support for carers in Surrey:

 

Register as a carer 

It is important that everyone at your surgery is aware that you are a carer so that they can provide you with support and help if you need it.

GPs have a responsibility to support and work with you in your caring role but also to help you to maintain your own health. GP practices are required to identify and register all carers who use their practice, so please let your GP know if you are looking after someone.

  • Why Register? There are different types of help and support available to you as a carer. Once you are registered as a carer with your GP, access and referral to schemes and local services becomes much more straightforward.
  • How to Register. To do this simply complete a yellow Carer Registration Form, (or this version if you are under 18) available from your GP surgery, and hand it in at reception.


Importance of Covid-19 vaccinations for carers

It is as important as ever for carers to get vaccinated. Unpaid carers are one of the governments priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination. In Surrey Heartlands, 89% of carers are now fully vaccinated, which is fantastic. However, it is clear that carers from ethnic minorities are underrepresented, making up just 10% of this number. 

Dr Pramit Patel, a local GP in Surrey, explains in this video below why it is really important to tell your GP that you have caring responsibilities, and to explain that we are here to support carers from all communities and backgroundsLife can become very hectic especially if you are looking after someone, we know that carers often carry on regardless, but its important not to neglect your own health needs. You care, so we should care for you. 

Your GP practice will record on your medical records that you are a carer and you will be entitled to additional help and support. You may be given a Carers prescription which will help with access to lots of support. including advice and information, support groups and activities, training and respite breaks. If you have not previously registered as a carer with your GP practice, they will also explain how you go about receiving a Covid vaccination or booster. 

 

 

Surrey Carers Strategy 2021-2024: supporting carers in Surrey

Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership and partners have published the Surrey Carers Strategy 2021 to 2024 which pledges their commitment to improve and develop services to better support unpaid carers. This video describes the approach taken to produce the strategy.

Unpaid carers carry out a vitally important role. People may not see themselves as carers, instead seeing caring as an extension of their family role: daughters, sons, or partners, for example, doing what families and friends do.

The Surrey Carers Strategy 2021 to 2024 sets out values and priorities for the next three years, reaffirming the commitment and determination to help carers continue caring if they are willing and able, and to support their health and wellbeing by achieving outcomes they have identified that matter most to them.

This strategy has been developed in line with ‘Together for Carers’, a memorandum of understanding between health and social care and a wide range of partners to work together to enhance support for carers of all ages. As well as the summary version of the strategy, you can read a full version and an easy read version.

 

The Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014 is the biggest change to English adult social care law in over 60 years. Key areas of the act include:

  • General responsibilities on local authorities including promoting people’s wellbeing, focusing on prevention and providing information and advice.
  • The introduction of a consistent, national eligibility criteria.
  • New rights to support for carers, on an equivalent basis to the people they care for.
  • Legal right to a personal budget and direct payment.
  • The extension of local authority adult social care responsibility to include prisons.
  • New responsibilities around transition, provider failure, supporting people who move between local authority areas and safeguarding.

Surrey County Council are working with residents, carers and key partners to keep the residents of Guildford and Waverley informed about the upcoming changes. Further information about the Act is available on the Surrey County Council website.



Carers Support and Resources

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. Anyone can be a carer – a 15-year-old girl looking after a parent with an alcohol problem, a 40-year-old man caring for his partner who has terminal cancer or an 80-year-old woman looking after her husband who has Alzheimer's disease. The Surrey County Council Surrey Young Carers Joint Strategic Needs Assessment helps the CCG and our partners understand the needs are of young carers living here in Surrey and what more needs to be done to support them.

Resources for all carers

 

Are a Surrey-wide service who support all carers through a variety of services including Adult Carers Support, Young Carers Service, Moving and Handling and Giving Carers a Voice.

 

This website is full of resources for carers in Surrey as well as professionals.

 

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for people aged 16 and over who look after someone with substantial caring needs.

 

Your one-stop-shop for practical information and support for carers. Clear, simple, straight forward advice and support about your caring journey or the journey of a carer you know.

 

The UK's only national membership charity for carers, Carers UK is both a support network and a movement for change.

 

Crossroads Care Surrey is the leading provider of respite breaks for carers and the people they care for in Surrey.

 

If you care for someone who is elderly, frail or disabled, speak to your GP about having a flu jab along with the person you care for.

 

A step-by-step guide to the practical help, support and advice that's on offer and how to get it, including how to look after someone.

 

Surrey Council and the NHS have produced a leaflet offering essential information for carers in Surrey.

 

Provides information to enable people to live more independently. They also offer information for carers such as the GP break service.

 

An e-learning course that aims to help carers find resources, technologies and support. The course also focuses on how carers can look after themselves in order to prevent caring responsibilities from becoming overwhelming. Learn more about this course on the Carers UK website.

 

Working across different platforms (online, iOS and Android) and devices, Jointly app is a central place where carers can store important information about the person they are looking after and share this information with other family members who are involved in the care. Jointly combines a number of useful features including group messaging, calendar, task allocation and medication management.

 

Resources and support for all carers in Surrey

 

Resources for Adult carers

  Offers, benefits and discounts available exclusively for carers and people with care needs. Parent carers can access specific information including financial support.
  Parent carers can find additional support through Family Voice Surrey. This is a forum for parents to offer a strong, collective voice and network with others.

 

Young adult carers are young people aged 16–25 who care, unpaid, for a family member or friend with an illness or disability, mental health condition or an addiction.

Resources for young adult carers

  Offers, benefits and discounts available exclusively for carers and people with care needs.
  Young carer and young adult carers in England have the right to information and to an assessment of the support they need from the council. This guide explains what those rights are. It also tells you what should happen when you talk to the council about being a young carer or young adult carer.

 

A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.

Resources for Young Carers

  Young carer and young adult carers in England have the right to information and to an assessment of the support they need from the council. This guide explains what those rights are. It also tells you what should happen when you talk to the council about being a young carer or young adult carer.
  If you are a young carer and looking after a member of your family there is a site for you, which includes their latest newsletter.
  A useful summary poster to help with learning and raising awareness of young carers.
  Information and resources for those involved in supporting young carers across Surrey.
  Follow on Twitter for updates on how Military Young Carers can access support in Surrey.

 

Need someone to talk to?

The feelings that carers experience as they go through their caring journey can be some of the most confusing and overwhelming they will ever encounter. For many, family and friends can help 'lend an ear', and can be an invaluable resource in unburdening the carer of the emotional stresses that caring invariably brings; the important thing is for the carer to have access to someone who they can ‘off load’ to.

It’s important to know that there are other options available though. Confidential support offered by the local carers' services is a good place to start but for some, having a professional counsellor maybe a preferred option.

Counselling can help make sense of the role carers have, whether in specific areas such as dealing with bereavement or separation from a loved one, or with the more general feelings of stress, anxiety and depression.

If you are a carer and would like to explore the option of speaking to a counsellor, please speak to your GP in the first instance. Alternatively, the following organisations can provide help and guidance to find a counsellor local to where you live:

 

Resources and training for health professionals who support carers in Surrey

Employers, teachers, GPs, nurses and other professionals who come into contact with carers and young carers during the working day can get support and training from the Action for Carers Surrey website.

 

Remember you aren't on your own.

Debbie Hustings, our Partnership Manager for Carers, will be happy to advise. You can email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alternatively, please pick up the phone or drop us an email.

 

 

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Help and support for you and your family

 

Our vision is to enable people within Surrey to enjoy the best possible health by commissioning healthcare services that meet local needs. This section of the website provides a list of local patient support groups, services and organisations available to you as a Surrey resident. We want to ensure that local health services meet the needs of our population - which is why we want everyone to get involved in the decision-making process. Please see our How To Get Involved section for more information.

 

 

 

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Social Prescribing

 

Social prescribing, sometimes referred to as community referral, is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other health and care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services. Their health is affected by a wide range of social, economic and environmental factors including employment, housing, debt, social isolation and culture. These factors do not respond to traditional health interventions. 

Social prescribing seeks to address these needs through a variety of activities which are typically provided by voluntary and community sector organisations. Examples include volunteering, arts activities, group learning, gardening, befriending, cookery, healthy eating advice, walking, singing and a range of sports. It is particularly useful for people who need more support with their mental health, have one or more long-term conditions, are lonely or isolated, or have complex social needs that affect their wellbeing. 

There is a growing body of evidence that social prescribing can lead to a range of positive health and wellbeing outcomes. Studies have shown improvements to an individual’s quality of life and emotional wellbeing, mental and general wellbeing and levels of depression, anxiety and loneliness. This has resulted in the reduced use of traditional NHS services such as A&E attendances, outpatient appointments, inpatients admissions or seeking a GP consultation.  

Find study data responding to the question Does social prescribing work? on The Kings Fund website. 

 

Social Prescribing in action

Together with Music pilot

Elderly residents from Keswick Care Home and children aged 10 and 11 from Eastwick School in Bookham are bridging the gap between generations, using music making to inspire confidence and tackle loneliness, anxiety and isolation.  

The innovative Together with Music pilot, is the result of a collaboration between Mole Valley District Council (MVDC), Surrey Downs Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) and Intergenerational Music Making (IMM). The 6-week pilot follows a time of isolation and has supported those living with dementia and challenging circumstances to create a stronger, healthier, intergenerational local community.   

Each session has been creatively unique, encouraging development and exploration within the music making. This project includes a variety of pre-composed and improvised music making, interactive musical and sensory activities, song-writing, choral singing and musical performances from both the young and old. The sessions, facilitated by senior music therapist Marion Barton, conclude with talking time which gives the young and old an opportunity to establish relationships, share stories and discuss the week ahead. 

The aim of this ground-breaking project is to work towards a national best practice model that can be rolled out across the country.  

Lilian, 97 year old resident, Keswick Care Home said “It’s been wonderful. We’ve been doing all sorts, they’ve been making us laugh and that’s a good thing. They’re lovely children and we’re so pleased that they come and entertain us because that’s what we need, it makes a lot of difference to us.” 


Watch this heart-warming film to discover more about this project