Carers in Leicester supported to know their rights this Carers Rights Day
22nd November 2017 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in Carers
During Carers Rights Day, thousands of carers in Leicester are urged to find out more about their rights as carers, with support from their GP practice.
This year, Carers Rights Day, founded by Carers UK, falls on Friday 24th November and works to bring health, social and voluntary sector organisations together to help carers in their local community know their rights and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to.
GPs from Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are continuing to encourage anyone who helps another person with their day-to-day life to register as carer with their GP Practice. They will then be able to access important information on their rights as a carer under the Carers Act 2014, which sets out carers’ legal rights to assessment and support.
Dr Raj Than, local GP lead for carers and GP Board Member at Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The number of people registered as a carer with their GP practice in Leicester is on the rise as result of GP practices and the local Carers Centre working together within practices to identify carers.
“We now need to ensure that these people have the right information so they get the support they are eligible for, including information on support services through their GP practice as well as assessments for housing or financial support available from their local council.”
Currently, 3,628 patients who provide care for someone else on a daily basis have made their caring responsibilities known to their GP practice so that their own health needs can be better looked after and they can receive the right support and advice.
Carers are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression, 25 per cent more likely to be a smoker and 37 per cent of carers currently registered in Leicester have one or more long term health condition themselves, including diabetes or a heart or lung problem.
Dr Than continued: “We should not underestimate the pressures that people with caring responsibilities have. They may not even recognise these themselves or identify themselves as a carer and if they do, the misconception is that they think their GP already knows about it.
“It is important that we continue our work to identify carers who are not currently on the Carers Register because they could be missing out on valuable support. Carers play a central role in the lives of others so it is equally important that they know their rights and are supported too.”
Kirsteen McVeigh, GP Partnership Service Worker from The Carers Centre, said: “A lot of the people I meet don’t call themselves a carer. They just see it as a natural part of caring for family or friends and they don’t know about the support available. We work closely with GP practices in Leicester city to get their patients who do care for others registered on the Carers Register through their GP practice. A lot of people also don’t know about the Carer’s Assessment which is an opportunity to discuss with the local council what support or services a carer needs. The assessment will look at how caring affects their life, including for example, physical, mental and emotional needs, and whether they are able or willing to carry on caring.
“Once someone is registered as a carer, their GP, The Carers Centre as well as social care, can work together to provide the right care package for them to make daily life that little bit more manageable. We have also been providing training sessions for practice staff, provided to raise awareness of carers’ needs and how the GP practice can best support them.”
Additionally the three CCGs across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have recently launched the Stay Well LLR website which houses a host of information about how people, including carers can look after themselves with confidence and stay well this winter and for life. More information can be found at www.staywell-llr.org.uk.
For more information please visit the https://www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/my-health/leicesters-health-priorities/caring-carers/ pages on the Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group website or visit http://www.claspthecarerscentre.org.uk/home.
*A carer is someone who helps another person with their day-to-day life and ultimately the person being cared for could not cope without the support of their carer.