Need To See A GP ? Short Of Taking Your Caree With You , What Do You Do?

Press release from CUK reported elsewhere on this site … copied across to give it a wider audience.

Said problem has been with us for decades … about time CUK caught up with actual reality ???

Dare I mention that old Carers Flag Scheme … :\

Ideal time for CUK to blow the dust off it ???

( They chose to remain silent … for whose benefit ??? )

**Third of unpaid carers would use a break from caring to see the doctor.
_13 September 2019.

Freedom of Information request reveals unpaid carers seeking replacement care for loved ones subjected to a postcode lottery.

Hundreds of thousands of carers going without enough sleep or seeing a doctor.

Give carers a break if we truly want to improve our social care system._**

Unpaid carers are unable to see a doctor because they can’t get a break from caring, according to damning new figures published by national charity Carers UK.

One in three carers looking after older, disabled or ill relatives say they would use a break from caring to attend a medical appointment, and half (50 per cent) would catch up on much needed sleep.

Just eight per cent of England’s unpaid carers responding to Carers UK’s breaks survey - the majority of whom provide over 50 hours of care every week - say they have been able to take a sufficient break from caring.

The findings paint a worrying picture of hundreds of thousands of people sacrificing their own health to prioritise care for loved ones, putting further pressure on health and social care services.

Of those who did manage to take some time off, 44 per cent used it to attend a medical appointment.

The cost and quality of replacement care, as well as not knowing where to get information about taking a break, are the most common reasons for carers being left without this fundamental right.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“Imagine never having a break from work, a basic human right and essential for staying well. Then imagine you do get some time off and you have to head straight to the doctor. Is that really a break?

“Unpaid carers propping up our underfunded social care system are burning out and desperately need time off from their caring roles to look after themselves.

“The Government’s recent £1.5 billion injection into the system will stabilise it for now, but we must see a longer term strategy for social care that acknowledges the enormous contribution of unpaid carers, includes double the funding for carers’ breaks and puts breaks at the heart of social care reforms.”

Separate analysis by the charity shows unpaid carers seeking replacement care for loved ones are subjected to a postcode lottery.

A Freedom of Information request reveals a wide disparity in the amount of money local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are spending on carers’ breaks through the dedicated Better Care Fund, with some spending nothing at all and others unable to say how much they are spending on breaks.

Overall spending on breaks through the £130 million fund is decreasing, with 78 per cent of local authorities and 69 per cent of CCGs reporting spending a smaller percentage of the budget on carers’ breaks in 2017/18 compared to 2016/17.

Carers UK is calling on the Government to double the Better Care Fund from £130 million to £260 million and ensure this money is ring-fenced so that carers around the country can get the breaks they need. The charity also wants to see carers’ breaks made a core part of the Government’s strategy for fixing the social care crisis.

Full report … 20 pages in .pdf format :

Sadly , no mention of the Carers Trust Emergency Scheme :

Help & Info - Support for Unpaid Carers | Carers Trust

Flawed but … out there for those who can take avantage of it.

Have we really seen the £1.5 Billion recent injection stabilise anything for now? The situation is already destabilized and hard to see anything changing. Perhaps the bean-counters will sleep more easily.

i remember my five nights off from caring were spent in hospital with a severe facial infection!I

By the way, double the funding, if funding is totally inadequate, is still totally inadequate!

Care For The Carers ( East Sussex ) have produced a pretty good guide for gp practices :

**Carer-friendly GP practice checklist.

Carole GregoryCarole Gregory, Development Officer at Care for the Carers, delivers Carer Awareness Training as part of her role.

Here, she outlines some key activities that medical practices could introduce to become more carer friendly.**


If you work within a GP practice you could review what you currently do and consider how you could make some positive changes with the help of the following checklist. And if you’re a carer, but not sure if your GP practice has carer-friendly policies, you could show them this article or ask them to get in touch with Care for the Carers about how we can help.

1. Find spaces for promoting information for carers

A notice board where you can display information – let staff and partners know about it.

A place for CareLine magazines and carer information leaflets.

Electronic patient information screen – if your surgery has one, please contact us for a slide you can use to inform patients about Care for the Carers.

Ensure the carer information your surgery provides is up to date (literature and website)
2. Identify yourself

Put the name or picture of your Carers Lead on a poster informing people who to contact about carers issues at the surgery.

The Carers Lead could wear a Carers Ambassador badge.

Talk to people and let them know about your involvement with supporting carers.

And, if required, staff who are carers.
3. Spread the word

Share the message that you are a ‘Carer Friendly’ practice with as many people as possible, as often as you can – on your website, newsletter, practice booklet.

Look for appropriate opportunities to have a conversation with those who you think might be in a caring role, including staff, and give them a leaflet or contact details

Ensure your team know and they are also identifying opportunities to raise awareness.

Encourage, if possible, carers to get involved with your Patient Participation Group (PPG).

Consider sending identified carers a welcome letter offering information about your carer-friendly practices.
4. Make a difference

Refer or encourage carers to make contact with Care for the Carers to access information and support – are you using the Carers Social Prescription ?

Support campaigns including Carers Week and Carers Rights Day, to raise awareness and involve your patients – have an information table on display at these times, share social media (photos work well), send text alerts – plan ahead.

Evidence the good work you do with carers, it will support Care Quality Commission inspections.

Consider if you can be more flexible with appointments for carers, ask if carers on your carers’ register? Do you have an Enhanced Support Plan (learning disability team) in place for the carer and cared for person? Are you offering health checks to carers specifically ?
5. Remember – think carer

It is important that EVERYONE is involved.

Book Carer Awareness Training for all the team to support positive change and support for carers.

Stay in touch with Care for the Carers - sign up to receive our enewsletter, CareLine and updates.

Contact Care for the Carers if you have any questions or need further resources – invite us to your Multidisciplinary team meetings.
Develop or update any internal and external carer-related policies or protocols.

Ensure you support employees who are carers – part of building a Carer Friendly Workplace.

( 6. How think how much family / kinship carers SAVE your practice … with NOTHING in return ??? )

Also an ideal blueprint for BOTH our supporting organisations to fully endorse … and then … GET IT OUT THERE !!!

I asked at my G.P. surgery about unpaid carers, answer was basically nothing, I should talk to the G.P., I discussed the fact that I was an unpaid carer, his response was.

Nothing to do with him, see Social Services, so that was helpful.

I have heard other places that a carer support worker from the local carers centre is available at the G.P’s say 20 hours a week.

Things can be done to help carers but just aren’t.