Carers Health & Wellbeing

CWBHeader

Following the announcement that the Leicestershire Better Care Together Fund are unable to extend funding for the Carers Health and Wellbeing Service, it is with great sadness and deep regret that we must confirm the service will cease to operate with effect from 30 April 2017, unless alternative funds are identified.

We acknowledge that difficult decisions have had to be made by the Better Care Together Board and, even though the service was highly credited and very much needed, there were other services that had to be prioritised over the Carers Health and Wellbeing Service.

It is acknowledged that Carers can cope longer within their caring role in the community as long as they have the right support in place. Nationally our carers save the economy £119 BILLION a year.  The Carers Health and Wellbeing Service cost £165,000 per annum providing support to carers across Leicestershire. We have identified and supported 1,200 carers during the 21 months we have been in operation.

Our small team has made great partnerships with GP practices across Leicestershire. We know how important it is that we are able to give our Carers time and support in a confidential environment.  As part of this, we are running 24 Carers Clinics across the county, and an additional 8 surgeries were hoping to offer this facility in their own practices. Our Carers Clinics operating  in GP Practices offer carers one-to-one support with hour long appointments. Feedback has evidenced that valuable GP time is protected by Carers Clinics and advice being offered at the right time – as we know, sadly, many carers can become depressed and/or experience numerous other health related ailments that are triggered by their caring role.

History of the project and our service until the end of April 2017

After an 18 month pilot in two areas, we were successful in winning the countywide contract from Leicestershire County Council  in January 2015. In May that year we welcomed on board the new Carer’s Health and Wellbeing Team.

The point of this project is to identify more carers and earlier in their caring role so that prevention work can be undertaken and any issues caught at an earlier stage.

The  team  work with all surgery staff, including GPs, reception staff, nurses and counsellors so that they can better recognise the needs of carers and how poor physical health can lead to poor mental health and vice versa, e.g. loneliness, isolation, anxiety, frustration and exhaustion leading to low self esteem, stress, burnout and inability to cope.

Another important area they  tackle is to identify hidden carers who do not see themselves as carers especially; young carers, carers of substance misuse, working carers, carers of mental health and carers from BME communities.

All links are below and the last one will take you to our leaflet.

https://www.facebook.com/carerswellbeing

https://twitter.com/carerswellbeing

http://www.carerswellbeing.org

http://carerswellbeing.org/wp-content/chwbleaflet.pdf

Plus, why not download our latest Carers Health & Wellbeing
news bulletin – here

This is a county wide project and the contact details for each area are:

Blaby, Oadby & Wigston

Sam Kara (skara@vasl.org.uk)

 07946 202251

Charnwood & Melton Mowbray

Kerry Turnbull (kturnbull@vasl.org.uk)

 07946 202191

Harborough

Nicola Tate-Bohannon (ntatebohannon@vasl.org.uk)

 07946 202183

Hinckley & Bosworth

Sue Cawrey (scawrey@vasl.org.uk)

!07946 202152

North West Leicestershire

Rachel Burley rburley@vasl.org.uk)

 07946 202280

 The Leicester Mercury featured the project here

If you would like to know more, please contact the team on 01858 411380

Just before the start of Carers Week in June 2016 we were very proud to have our Carers Health and Wellbeing Service held up as best practice by the NHS.  Below is the press release issued by Leicestershire County Council.

Health chiefs praise carers’ service

Efforts being made to support carers have been acknowledged by health chiefs

The county council’s carers’ health and wellbeing service has been highlighted in a new NHS report as a good example of an organisation working closely with GPs to provide backing for the often-unsung heroes.

The service is backed by the county council, along with health partners, and involves wellbeing workers from Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL) linking up with the GPs to offer advice and support to carers.

Carers play a vital role, but they often put the person they are caring for first, but we want to emphasise there is support available. Often, carers will have lesser needs and by getting that support to them now, it delays those needs becoming greater

 The accolade comes just a few days before the start of Carers Week 2016, which runs from 6 – 12 June.

A host of events are being held and further details available by calling Support for Carers on 0845 689 9510 or by visiting – www.supportforcarers.org with the national awareness campaign focusing on building carer-friendly communities and more information at – www.carersweek.org

The role of the support network for carers has also been praised by Dr Kam Singh, from the Thurmaston Health Centre.

He said: “The service has been invaluable to our practice and very well received by our patients. It means I can focus on their clinical needs knowing that the carers’ support service is providing more holistic care.”

Carers may also be eligible for an assessment and more information is available at – www.leicestershire.gov.uk/carers-assessment

 

 

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