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 caregiver. 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.
Triangle of Care
The Triangle of Care is a working collaboration between the service user, professional and carer that promotes safety, supports recovery and sustains well-being. We are committed to changing the culture of our organisation to one that is carer inclusive and supportive.
It was initially developed to improve mental health acute services by adopting six principles. It is widely accepted that these key principles can be applied to all service areas.
- Carers and the essential role they play are identified at first contact or as soon as possible thereafter
- Staff are ‘carer aware’ and trained in carer engagement strategies
- Policy and practice protocols regarding confidentiality and sharing information, are in place.
- Defined post(s) responsible for carers are in place
- A carer introduction to the service and staff is available, with a relevant range of information across the care pathway
- A range of carer support services is available.
The standards then include rigorous self-assessments and action plans to demonstrate how we are involving and supporting carers as well as promoting the important role, they have and further improving services for carers.
We joined the Triangle of Care in 2018, and received our first star accreditation. We are currently ensuring all our first star is up to date due to the impacts of COVID before working towards our second one.
For more information, visit the Carers Trust
If you would like to find out more or help us by contributing your ideas and experiences as a carer please contact Jenna Matthews on 07980930114 or email: Jenna.Matthews@lscft.nhs.uk
We want to hear from you!
Are you an unpaid carer for someone who is currently using our services?
If so, please help us to understand if we are meeting your needs by completing our online survey.
Service User and Carer Council
We recognise that service users and their families are experts in understanding what they need, due to their own or loved ones experience of mental and/or physical ill health. We would like you to feel empowered by inviting you to give your views, be heard in your own right and be an active member of our Service User and Carer Council.
Interested in joining? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Service User and Carer council aims to increase the meaningful involvement of people who use our services. Meetings may be held face to face or virtually.
In summary, the role of the Service User Council is to:
• Ensure that there are effective processes in place to capture the experiences and views of service users and carers within the locality
• Feedback from other local and national groups
• Promote service user and carer involvement in improvement programmes
• Contribute to locality meetings; offering contributions, ideas and opinions which reflect the voice of the service user, carers and their families as opposed to individual voices
• Contribute to the development of Trust policies and strategies ensuring appropriate consideration is given to the needs of service user and carers
• Participate in service user led inspections of care and service reviews/training/recruitment
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 carer’s service using the useful links information below.
Local carers organisations
N-Compass and Carers Link Lancashire deliver The Lancashire Carers' Service. They provide information, advice and a wide range of specialist support services designed to help carers continue in their caring role for as long as they choose and reduce the impact the caring role can have on their own health and wellbeing.
N-Compass (North or Central Lancashire)
- Phone: 0345 688 7113 (select option 2)
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.n-compass.org.uk
Carers Link (East Lancashire)
- Phone: 0345 688 7113 (select option 1)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.carerslinklancashire.co.uk
Blackpool Carers Centre
Blackpool Carers Centre is an independent and local charity. They provide a range of services to support and enhance the lives of unpaid carers of all ages throughout Blackpool and The Fylde Coast.
Blackburn with Darwen Carers Centre
Blackburn with Darwen Carers Centre supports carers aged 18+ living in Blackburn and Darwen. They make sure you have access to support, information and wellbeing activities so that you and the person you care for can be as well as possible.
Rethink Lancashire supports carers by providing helpful information, a listening ear, empathy and suggestions for getting the best care for loved ones living with mental illness. They have excellent knowledge of local and national mental health services, as well as strong relationships with local service managers. Their group offers peer support both in the group and at meetings that carers may attend such as needs assessment or clinical interventions, this gives carers the confidence and support they need.
- Phone: 07534 369 889
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.rethink.org/help-in-your-area/support-groups/rethink-carers-lancashire/
Barnados Lancashire supports young carers under the age of 18 who provide regular and ongoing care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances and are significantly affected by their caring role.
- Phone: 01772641 002
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.barnardos.org.uk/what-we-do/services/lancashire-young-carers
Lancashire Positive Minds
Lancashire Positive Minds is a parent/carer group that provides support, advice, strategies and more for parents and carers who support their young through mental health difficulties.
Carers Support South Lakes
Carer Support South Lakes identifies the needs of unpaid carers of any age and provides quality services, support and advocacy to promote their health and wellbeing.
- Phone: 01539 815 970 (select option 4)
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.carersupportsouthlakes.org.uk
Furness Carers was established to support carers living within the Furness area of Cumbria and is a vital link to information and support services covering all aspects of the caring role.