Caring for Carers in Sandwell and West Birmingham

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Carers week HC logoUnpaid carers in Sandwell and West Birmingham are being encouraged to look after their own health as well as those they care for. NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is this week raising awareness of the support available in GP practices for local carers during Carers Week 2018.

Carers Week, which runs from 11-17 June, is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

There are different types of help and support available to carers. Once you are registered as a carer with your GP, access and referral to schemes and local services becomes much more straightforward.

There are currently over 7,000 carers registered with their local GP Practice in the Sandwell and West Birmingham area. The CCG is investing significantly to help improve and support GP services for carers through the Primary Commissioning Care Framework (PCCF), which was launched in 2016 in partnership with local GP practices to improve quality for patients.

Under the PCCF scheme, GP practices have created a Carers’ Register and a Carers’ Lead. Almost three-quarters (74%) of the registered carers with GP Practices were offered a health check in 2016/17. All practice staff are now trained to be ‘carer aware’ (including the needs of young carers), and to have an understanding of the health and well-being needs of carers (including their right to a carers’ assessment by the local authority).  

Dr Nick Harding, Chair at NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:

“We recognise the vital role of care provided by family and friends and our PCCF scheme is helping to make a difference to support local carers in GP Practices. We have invested significantly into the PCCF scheme to ensure carers are supported at an earlier stage, enabling real benefits for both carers and patients alike.

“It’s important to remember that the best way to support the person that you’re caring for is to stay fit and healthy. Your GP can give you expert advice on how you can stay well and help to connect you to other useful carer support services and sources of information.”

“Caring for a loved one can be hard, but by registering with the Carer's Register at your GP surgery, you can access a wealth of support.

More details about Carers Week can be found at www.carersweek.org.