Help is on hand: How Carers First are supporting carers in Southend-on-Sea

Date: 27-06-2022

Help is on hand: How Carers First are supporting carers in Southend-on-Sea

Help is on hand: How Carers First are supporting carers in Southend-on-Sea

Carers First’s new pocket guide has simplified the hospital discharge process for unpaid carers across the city.

As part of its new campaign, Carers First has supported many people throughout Southend-on-Sea who care for relatives or friends coming home from a stay in hospital.

According to research from Carers UK, 61% of carers are not given enough information or advice to care safely following the hospital discharge process, with the majority saying insufficient support is provided to protect the health and wellbeing of either the patient or their own health.

This guide created by Carers First has been crucial in helping prepare unpaid carers who have someone in hospital waiting for discharge, by guiding them through the journey from hospital to home.   

Barbara, 77, has been caring for her elderly husband, Brian, for the last few years. Brian has slight short-term memory loss and is severely hard of hearing. Barbara reached out for support after Brian was admitted to hospital for hip replacement surgery in December 2021.

She said: “I didn't know what to do with Brian's hospital stay and a lack of support - and contact - with staff meant I was struggling to find help when I needed it most. The 1-to-1 support I received from Carers First was fantastic, I was able to get in touch with local support networks, really helping me during a daunting time. I was later referred to a counsellor for 12 weeks and that has been so good for me, as well as providing us with practical help when my stress levels were near breaking point.”

In March 2022, peers in the House of Lords successfully won an amendment against the Government’s attempt to revoke the Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc) Act 2003, in the Health and Care Bill. Without this amendment, unpaid carers’ rights at the point of hospital discharge would have been removed. The bill has continued to protect carers’ rights by ensuring hospitals consult with and help support unpaid carers at the point of discharge.

This bill amendment was instrumental in helping develop Carers First new pocket guide, which was created in consultation with unpaid carers across Southend-on-Sea who had experience of supporting a friend or family member through the discharge process.

Containing everything a carer needs to know to prepare them for the person returning home safely and comfortably, the guide explains the hospital discharge process via an easy-to-understand flow chart and prompts the carer to think about what they will need to know in advance and how to prepare. The guide also signposts other support services available for both the carer and the person they are caring for, providing advice along with practical and financial support. 

Chief Executive of Carers First, Alison Taylor, said: “We understand how important it is to support unpaid carers when they’re taking care of relatives or friends following a hospital stay - and that’s exactly why we created this pocket guide.

“It’s fantastic to hear the stories of carers in Southend who have already benefited from the guide, helping alleviate the stress and worry that often comes as a result of not knowing what to do or where to turn to after the person they care for has been in hospital.”

The pocket guide is available to download from the Carers First website here. People looking after friends or family who have been discharged from hospital in Southend-on-Sea are encouraged to register as a carer with Carers First to access further support to help them adapt and manage well: www.carersfirst.org.uk/southend-on-sea

 

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