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 suggests that it is one in eight.
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.
Carers of patients living with dementia and other long term conditions can now visit them in hospital at any time day or night. New Carers Passports allow designated carers to visit them outside of visiting hours to offer extra support and make them feel more at ease in unfamiliar settings. The passports were introduced as part of Johns Campaign being launched in the hospital in 2016 and can be obtained on wards and departments across the hospital by speaking with staff and negotiating appropriate concessions to visiting.
Tea and Chat
A service provided on the wards at Russells Hall Hospital every Wednesday at 2-4pm. Volunteers and a staff member visit the wards to try to identify people who may be in a caring role and in need of some information and support. We offer a cup of tea and a chat. This is an in-house hospital charity (DGNHSD charity number 1056979) and we run on donations.
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
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.
Phone: 07435 754386
7 Albion Street
Phone: (01384) 573381
The carer coordinator or one of her volunteers is available one day 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.
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 2019 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
- Carers Hub at Queen’s Cross Network Dudley DY1 1RB (01384) 818723 www.dudley.gov.uk/carers. Open daily 9am – 3.30pm as a drop-in for any Dudley carer to seek advice and support, including information about the Young Carers Service for carers under the age of 18 years.
- Adult Social Care ACCESS Team for adult social care assessments and carer assessments based in Brierley Hill, Health and Social Care Centre, Venture Way, Brierley Hill, DY5 1RE. Opening hours are 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Email on: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website at www.dudley.gov/adultsocialcare. Phone number: 0300 555 0055 Emergency duty team (out of hours): 0300 555 8574.
- CAB 0300 3309 044 www.citizensadvice.org.uk.
- Carers UK advice line: 0808 808 7777 www.carersuk.org.
- Crossroads Care Dudley: Caring for Carers (01384) 298513 www.crossroads.org.uk.
- Dudley Stroke Association (01384) 271982 www.dudleystrokeassociation.org.uk.
- Dudley Telecare Services for monitoring equipment for the home i.e. pendants and alarms 0300 555 2040 www.dudley.gov.uk/telecare.
- White House Cancer Support (01384) 231232 email@example.com.
- Dudley Falls Prevention Service.
- Dudley MBC Support for Carers Factsheet.
Mental Health and Learning Disability carer support
- MIND carer support group (01384) 442938 www.dudleymind.org.uk.
- Carer Support at Rethink for carers of people with a mental illness (01384) 869898 www.rethink.org.uk.
- Dudley Voices for Choice (learning disability) (01384) 217057 www.dudleyvoicesforchoice.org.uk.
Dementia Carer support
- Alzheimer’s Society 0121 521 3020 www.alzheimers.org.uk.
- Dudley Dementia Advisor Service DMBC (01384) 816039.