A carer is someone of any age who supports a relative, partner, friend or neighbour, who due to physical or mental illness, disability, frailty or addiction could not manage without that support.
Carers are absolutely vital and play a leading role in supporting our communities. Young Carers are carers under the age of 18 who support someone with their care needs on a regular basis.
Caring is an issue which faces all of us. Changing demographics and an ageing population mean that 3 in 5 people will end up caring for someone at some point in their lives. The number of carers in the UK is set to grow from 6 million to 9 million in the next 30 years. This is an issue none of us can afford to ignore and we should all embrace and make sure our services meet the needs of carers.
Care Quality Commission (CQC) – Involving people and caring for carers, how primary care practices can support carers
Primary care practices can support carers through the CQC’s Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE 2) for healthcare services best practice examples, which are available on the CQC website here Examples include screening for carers, identifying a Carers Co-ordinator at the local practice and providing support for socially isolated carers.
NHS England and NHS Improvement – Supporting carers in general practice: a framework of quality markers
This document offers a series of practical ideas that have been developed in partnership with carers, primary care teams and other key stakeholders. Collectively, these provide a framework for improving how general practice can better identify and support carers of all ages. You can download the report here
Macmillan Cancer Support – Top 10 Tips for Primary Care
Macmillan Cancer Support has produced a handy ‘Top 10 Tips’ for people working in Primary Care to help them support the 1.1 million carers of people with cancer. Macmillan Cancer Support defines a carer as someone who looks after a person with cancer who could not manage without this help. You can download these Top 10 Tips here
Royal College of General Practitioners – How GPs can support Carers
Details from the RCGP website, including training for practice staff are available here
NHS Support and Information
The NHS includes a wide range of information and support for carers on its website here The NHS also provides information for commissioners of health and care services to help them commission services which meet the needs carers here
Employers for carers – free support from Carers UK
Knowing who is a carer is the first step to being able to support them and organisations can sign up for free support through the employers for carers website here, run by Carers UK. Good businesses need good people. In the current economic climate and the Coronavirus pandemic, there has never been a more important time to focus on the benefits of retaining skilled workers, and support from employers for carers can help do this.
Doncaster Council – Coronavirus Information for Parents and Carers
Details from the council website are available here
Doncaster Carers Reach Out Service
Latest information regarding carer cards is available here
Doncaster Council – Community Hub
The Hub can help with:
- Delivery of emergency food
- Collection and delivery of medication
- Regular check-ins with people who are isolated
- Signpost and support to others who can help including local volunteers
Details of how the Community Hub can help you when you have no-one else to support you are available here
Details about support for local people available through Healthwatch Doncaster is available on the website here, including how to feedback experience of accessing GP services during the Coronavirus pandemic here
Doncaster Age UK – support for older people
Details of the support available from Age UK Doncaster can be found here
Carers UK – Support for Carers
Carers UK has launched support for carers including a telephone helpline, further details are available here
Government guidance on Covid-19 and supported living and home care
Further details are available here
Doncaster Council launches Social Care Academy to fill vital social care roles in response to Coronavirus
Further details including how to apply are available here
Top tips to help you to look after your mental health
It’s understandable to feel stressed, anxious or worried at the moment, so we’ve prepared some top tips to help you to look after your mental health.
If you are feeling anxious then this is what you should do:
- Focus on managing the anxiety rather than trying to get rid of it
- Follow health guidance given as fully as possible
- Talk about emotions and try not to push them away – they tend to come back stronger if you do
- Try to focus on what is happening now rather than what could happen in the future
- Take time to do enjoyable activity including exercise
- Drink plenty of water and try to maintain a balanced diet.
Further information and support for carers is available from the mental health charity Mind here
Take breaks from news and social media
The amount of content regarding coronavirus can be overwhelming, frightening and a lot of the time misleading. Try to limit the time you spend on social media as the virus is the main focus and being bombarded by posts about it can lead to anxiety and depression. If possible mute articles and posts around the virus and stick to reputable sources of information. When checking on the news, try to set this at a specific time of day and stick to it so that you aren’t constantly inundated with the same topic.
Wash your hands – but not excessively
Try to recognise the function behind your hand washing and cleanliness behaviours. Ask yourself am I washing or cleaning for the recommended amount of time to reduce the risk infection – or is this behaviour happening ritualistically in a specific order until it ‘feels right’?
Stay connected with people
Try to arrange regular check-in times with friends and family.
Try to ensure that you maintain positive routines but also set yourself goals to get variety in your life. Groundhog day will set in and it is a good time to try complete those household tasks and goals you’ve been putting off.
Make time to relax and unwind. Mindfulness techniques can be useful to remain in the present moment. Try to notice when your thoughts are spiralling and ground yourself in the moment by focusing on things around you. What can I see, hear, touch around me right now. Use this to remind yourself that ‘in this present moment I am safe’.
Take care of your physical health
Regular exercise is recommended, deep breathing and stretches can also aid in de-stressing. Try to ensure that you maintain a good routine regarding your eating and sleeping habits. It can be tempting to eat easy meals and junk food but eating well balanced healthy meals will help in managing your mood as well. Get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
For more details visit the RDaSH website here
There is also a range of resources to help you with your health on the RDaSH Engagement HUB.
Need professional help with your mental health?
Need help with anxiety? Please get in touch with the Talking Shop and Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Teams:
Doncaster Talking Shop – 01302 565650.
Anyone with a long term condition can call RDaSH’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Long Term Conditions Team on 01302 379563 or reach them via the Single Point of Access Team on 01302 566999.
Urgent mental health need?
If you need urgent mental health help the RDaSH Crisis Team is here to help you.
Doncaster Tel: 01302 566999
Voluntary sector and other support
You can call The Samaritans free of charge on 116 123.
Doncaster – Rethink helpline – 0808 801 0442
Safe Space, a support service for people experiencing mental health crisis in Intake can be accessed by calling 01302 566999
Doncaster Council and a range of organisations in Doncaster, including Doncaster CGG are committed to providing help and support for carers in their daily life by recognising what’s important.
For Carers Week 2019 we supported a wide range of activities that took place across Doncaster.
Carers breaks: new guidance and videos
A new resource produced by the Social Care Institute for Excellence and Carers UK, includes evidence-based guidance and almost 30 the examples of practice.
The guidance is accompanied by videos of carers giving advice to other carers on the importance of taking breaks.
The short video below provides really important and useful information for all carers on the importance of taking a break and the opportunities available to help with this
A short animation produced by NHS England provides an insight into the lives of young carers and hopefully encourage young carers to seek support.
The video is intended to raise awareness of the challenges and issues faced by young carers. Further information can be found on Doncaster Council’s website and a short blog by local GP and NHS Doncaster CCG Clinical Chair, Dr David Crichton.
Healthwatch Support for Young Carers
You can download the Top 4 Tipson how to support Young Carers here
GPs urged to keep register of carers and offer double appointments
GP On-line article including how to support young carers is available here