Support for carers

Who is a Carer?

A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who cannot manage without their help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.

How many Carers are there in Dudley?

In the 2011 census nearly 38,000 local people identified themselves as carers. They may be caring for their husband, wife, mother, father, daughter, son, friend, neighbour or grandparents/ children. More than one in ten of the population, locally and nationally, provide care to someone on a regular basis. Carers UK research suggest that it is one in 8.

For more information you can visit www.carersuk.org

How can you identify a Carer?

Many people do not recognise that they are carers and so it is important for those that work in health care to be aware. There is an elearn Careraware course available in Dudley at www.dudley.gov.uk/carers.

Anyone can become a carer. Many people realise that they have become carers over a period of time when they find themselves doing more and more for the person. For example they may start out collecting prescriptions, escorting them to GP or hospital appointments, preparing meals and this may develop into assisting them with washing and dressing, cleaning and feeling unable to leave them alone for fear that they may fall or harm themselves. They maybe become carers following the persons discharge from hospital or diagnosis of an illness or following an accident. This means that receiving appropriate information at this time is vital to them coping with their role. Many carers are of working age and struggle to provide care for the person around their own work schedule as the peak caring age is 50-59 years, although the number of carers over the age of 65 years is rapidly increasing and many older couples are providing care for each other. The next of kin may be the main carer but not always and so it is important to ask the patient who is their main carer and are they willing and able to take on or continue with this role. If they are not able to the carer themselves may need support or information in regard to what they can do.

Many carers experience physical and mental ill health themselves as a direct consequence of stress and the physical demands of caring and so it is important that their role be recognised and understood if they are to continue caring.

  • If you identify yourself as a carer or someone else as a carer or you want to talk to someone about your caring role then you can get information and support from the Carer Coordinator based at the Trust.

What is the role of the Carer Coordinator?

  • To identify relatives and/or friends who provide care or support to patients within the Trust
  • To assist relatives and/or friends in recognising their caring role and identify appropriate support that is available
  • To promote the rights and needs of carers to Trust staff
  • To provide information and support to carers and staff to enable carers to access services in regard to health, social care, benefits, admission and discharge process as well as information and support available to carers in the Dudley area
  • To contact identified carers following discharge to establish any further support needs they may have
  • To promote the Carer Aware Course provided by Dudley MBC (http://nhsdudley.elumos.net)
  • To promote the Dudley Carers Network (www.dudley.gov.uk/carers) (01384) 818723 – (www.dudley.gov.uk/careraware)
  • Dudley Community Information Directory (http://www.dudleyci.co.uk/) online resource for events, activities and support groups.
  • To promote ‘Looking After Me’ programme for carers. Call (01384) 816437 or contact (SMP@dudley.gov.uk) to find out more.

How to access the Carer Coordinator

You can contact her yourself or ask a member of staff to contact the Carer Coordinator, Sharon McGlynn, on your behalf. She can then either communicate with you by phone, text, email or make an appointment to meet with you either at the hospital or in the local community to suit your needs.

Capacity Office
Russells Hall Hospital
Pensnett Road
Dudley
DY1 2HQ
Phone: (01384) 456111 (Ext. 1568) or 07435 754386
Email: sharon.mcglynn@dgh.nhs.uk

or

Dudley CVS
7 Albion Street
Brierley Hill
West Midlands
DY5 3EE
Phone: (01384) 573381
Email: carers@dudleycvs.org.uk

Click here to view useful information on support for carers leaflet

The Carer Coordinator or one of her volunteers is also available 3/4 times per month in the main reception area at Russell’s Hall (the information desk next to the shop) where information can be provided on an informal basis. The dates that she is available are on the health hub booking timetable.

A Carers Tea and Chat Service attends the wards each Wednesday during afternoon visiting time 2-4pm which is supported by the Carer Coordinator, DMBC Carers Network, Heathwatch Dudley, Black Country Headway, Dudley Rethink and hospital volunteers. They provide tea and conversation to relatives / friends at the bedside in an aim to raise awareness of family carers providing support as most people don’t identify themselves as being a carer. This service accepts donations as a hospital charity in order to make it sustainable.

Following on from this a drop in carers service is provided at DY1 Coffee Shop, Stafford Street, Dudley DY1 1RT, next to Stepping Stones Medical Practice. This service is provided on the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month 9.30am-12noon and is open to the general public with tea and coffee starting from £1. It is an opportunity to meet other carers and also talk with someone about your caring role and issues that you may have. The coffee shop is run by Lunch on the Run a local learning disabilities charity.

A Carers Amble takes place on 2nd Thursday of each month at Saltwells in Netherton meeting in the carpark at 12.30 pm and walking for approximately 1 hour followed by lunch in the Saltwells Pub, which costs about £4.50. The amble is open to the public and is an opportunity to walk with other people/ carers and is supported by Heathwatch Dudley and the carer coordinator who are on hand if you require information about your caring role.

If you have received information or support and would like to give feedback or suggestions then please email or phone using the contacts provided.

NHS Operating Framework 2012-13 and NHS Patient Experience Framework 2011

“Carers play a vital role in our system and must receive help and support….”

“Patients preferences for sharing information with their partner, family members and/or carers are established, respected and reviewed throughout their care.”

We should be “welcoming the involvement of family and friends, on whom patients rely, in decision making and demonstrating awareness and accommodation of their needs as care-givers.”

Dudley Carers Strategy and Priorities of the strategy

  • Information to carers
  • Access to assessment of need
  • Provision for breaks for carers
  • Supporting carers to be part of the community
  • Emotional support
  • Maintaining carers health
  • A voice for carers
  • Support for young carers
  • Financial matters

Other Useful links and contacts for carers

General carer support

Mental Health carer support

Dementia Carer support

Dudley Dementia Gateway Service

  • Brett Young Centre — south (01384) 813600
  • Brettell Lane Centre — central (01384) 813315
  • Roseville Centre — north (01384) 813645