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We’re making caring visible, valued and supported this Carers Week

Date: 06 June 2022

Today is the start of Carers Week 2022, an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring – highlighting the challenges that unpaid carers face and recognising the contribution they make to our community. This year’s theme is making caring visible, valued, and supported.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust’s (SCFT’s) Carers Health Team provide personalised support for carers over the age of 18 who are registered with a GP in West Sussex. The team visit carers in their own home and help reduce the strain of coping with their caring role.

The Carers Health Team provide practical advice on the caring environment, specific health conditions and help with the health needs of the person being cared for if necessary. This could include information on safe moving and handling techniques, managing medication, and guiding carers through the complex health and social care system.

Rather than someone who works or volunteers in a caring role, a carer is someone who provides unpaid care to a relative or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health condition, addiction, or who needs extra help as they get older. Caring can have a significant impact on all aspects of life, from carers' own health and wellbeing to finances, so it is vital that carers are visible, valued and supported.

SCFT Carers Health Team Lead, Emma Vaughan, says:

“This is such a brilliant caring and responsive team to lead. Most of the team have an informal caring role outside of work so we are very passionate about what we do. Our nurses and therapists have a wealth of experience from the community and acute sector which enables them to carry out in depth holistic assessments for carers whose health and wellbeing may be adversely affected as a result of their caring role, or they simply cannot find the time to access health support due to their caring demands.

“The Carer’s Health Team identify physical and mental health issues and provide the necessary advice and interventions or refer carers to the most appropriate support available. We have great working relationships with other health, social and voluntary services.

“Our feedback from carers is very positive and highlights the difference we can make to those struggling to cope with the demands of daily life as an informal carer. In 2020 the service was highly commended by the NICE Shared Learning Awards for ‘Implementing Clinical Support for Informal Carers’, and in 2019 The Carers Health Team won the NHS Parliamentary Care and Compassion Award for the South East.”

Are you a carer?

Carers Week is an opportunity to identify people who may not even consider themselves as having caring responsibilities and help them access much-needed support.

If you live in West Sussex and think you might be a carer, or you know someone who is, our Carers Health Team encourage you to get in touch.

Contact the Carers Health Team on 01243 623521 or SC-TR.carerwellbeing@nhs.net.

Our carers’ comments

Read some of the feedback the Carers Health Team have received this year:

“I had not heard of the Carers Health Team before. They helped me to understand how I must take care of myself in order to care for my husband. They showed such care and I am very grateful to be able to have this contact.” – Carer 1

“I am very impressed and grateful for the service I received from the Carers Health Team. I am thankful for the time they spent with me and for listening to my concerns. Following the visit, they got in touch with my GP Surgery which prompted them to offer me a diabetic review at a time and day convenient to me. Having been made aware of my situation, I was given information and contact numbers useful to me in my caring role. It is good to know help is at hand should I need it. As far as I'm concerned, the Carers Health Team couldn't have given me a better service.” – Carer 2

“A staff member from the Carers Health Team spent a long time with me at home and was both caring and informative. I felt I could discuss my feelings and they listened. They took photos of a rash on my feet and forwarded it to my doctor’s surgery as I don't use a computer. I found her to be a very calming person with all the complex issues I was dealing with.” – Carer 3

Carers Week Activities

Tuesday 7 June, 10:30am
Online Q&A session with SCFT Carers Health Team and Carers Support West Sussex
Register to attend.

The SCFT Carers Health Team will be taking part in face-to-face events with Carers Support West Sussex, including walking events and afternoon teas. Find out more about the programme of events and book your place.

Further support for carers

In addition to the Carers Health Team at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, carers can receive support from Carers Support West Sussex and Carers Centre for Brighton and Hove.

Carers Support West Sussex is an independent charity that provides unpaid carers with information and guidance along with practical and emotional support, so they feel valued and supported.

Carers Centre for Brighton and Hove is a charity that provide family carers with emotional support, advice and a well-deserved break from their caring role.