Who is a carer?
A carer is anyone who provides unpaid care, for a friend, partner or family member. They may be older, unwell, have a disability, a mental health problem or an addiction. It could be for just a few hours a week or round the clock. Many people act as Carers without even thinking about the role they perform. 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.
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 and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust?
The Trust Values carers they 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. This assessment may assist you to get the support that you need, which may include a break from caring, emotional support, or signposting to various organisations. If you feel that you may benefit from a Carers Assessment then please speak to a member of staff or you can contact your local carers service using the useful links information below.
Triangle of Care (ToC)
Carers are vital partners in the provision of mental health and social care services, with 1.5 million people in the UK caring for someone with mental ill health. The ToC is a therapeutic partnership between carers, people who use services and professionals based on engagement, information sharing and support.
The Trust joined the Triangle of Care membership scheme in March 2018 and by doing so committed to changing the culture of our organisation to one that is carer inclusive and supportive.
The Triangle of Care is about people who use our services, carers and professionals listening to each other and working together. It aims to promote safety and recovery for people with mental health issues, and to encourage their well-being, by including and supporting their carers.
Are you an unpaid carer for someone who is currently using our inpatient or crisis services? If so, help us to understand if we are meeting your needs by completing a survey via this link https://www.oc-meridian.com/LancsCare/survey/TriangleofCare Or scan the code below.
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.
Carers Trust - Carers Trust is a major charity for, with and about carers
Blackpool Carers Centre - Blackpool Carers Centre is an independent, local charity and network partner of Carers Trust. They provide a range of services to support and enhance the lives of unpaid carers of all ages throughout Blackpool and The Fylde Coast.
Carers UK - As the UK's only national membership charity for carers, Carers UK is both a support network and a movement for change
Carers Link Lancashire - Carers Link Lancashire is an independent registered charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee whose aim is to support unpaid carers across the boroughs of East Lancashire
Rethink - Rethink, the leading national mental health membership charity, works to help everyone affected by severe mental illness recover a better quality of life
Ncompass Northwest - Provide support for carers to reduce the impact of their caring role through providing information along with one to one and group support.
Carers Lancashire works across the county providing information and support to unpaid carers aged 18 and over. The services offered are designed to not only help a carer continue in their caring role, but also to reduce the impact their caring role can have on their own health and wellbeing.
This support includes:
- Carers Assessment including eligibility for a Carers Personal Budget
- Planning for an emergency
- Specialist 1:1 and group support, including workers skilled in mental health, dementia, working within the BME community and health services
- Support to take a break including activities, courses and the Carers Caravans discounted holidays
- Respite provision through the Sitting in Service & Befriending
- Carers Help and Talk (CHAT) Line
- Information and signposting to other support services
- Support to access community, health & wellbeing services
- Volunteering opportunities
- Carers Awareness Briefings to professionals and organisations
0345 688 7113
Carers’ Hub Lancashire and Carers Link Lancashire work together under the name of Carers Lancashire to provide support across the whole county of Lancashire. For more specific information about each service, including additional support for carers helping someone with mental health needs and young carers, visit their websites at: