You will encounter many carers as part of your working role. Many you will instantly recognise and understand as being carers. But many people fail to recognise themselves and sometimes it’s not immediately obvious that they are carers, and how much the role is affecting them.
Don’t forget, carers may:
- be new to caring or have been caring for many years
- not live with the person they care for
- be a parent caring for children who are ill or have a disability
- provide personal care, supervision or emotional support
- be a patient of yours or may accompany one of your patients
Action for Carers and the Carer’s Prescription
There is a lot of help and support available for carers in Surrey, including from Action for Carers. A first step is to help the individual realise they are a carer and that there is support available.
In Surrey, health care professionals can use the Carer’s Prescription. This is a single online referral that goes on to open the door to a host of further support and services for carers, including from Action for Carers. If you are a Surrey health professional (not a GP) please use this website to refer someone to the Carer’s Prescription.
Read more about the Carer’s Prescription.
If you’re a paid carer, working in residential care, or people’s homes, you will meet unpaid, family carers in the course of your work. Please let them know about Action for Carers and the help available. For you in your role, please take a look at our training courses and further resources.
Stop Look Care – Practical Guide to Caring is a very useful resource from NHS Surrey Heartlands for care workers. It outlines many of the tasks and responsibilities paid carers undertake, as well as health matters to consider and problems to watch out for. A host of topics are covered, including nutrition, continence, medication, preventing falls, skin care, etc.
GP surgery teams
If you work in a GP surgery, also encourage the person to register as a carer at the surgery, using this leaflet.
We also provide a Carer’s Folder to all of Surrey’s GP surgeries. This is available in the waiting room for all visitors to browse and contains information about caring, Action for Carers and all the support available in Surrey.
Action for Carers can also help you by:
- keeping your surgery informed and up to date on carers’ rights and issues
- supporting your surgery in developing greater awareness of how best to respond to patients who are carers and to offer advice on carer-friendly services
- being a resource for all the practice’s health professionals
When the person someone cares for is in hospital, it can be a particularly stressful and difficult time for a carer. Many carers also ‘become’ carers, or realise they are carers, in a hospital setting.
Recognising this, we have Hospital Carers Advisors working in Surrey’s five main acute hospitals:
- East Surrey
- Frimley Park
- Royal Surrey County
- St Peter’s
These Hospital Carers Advisors are there to support carers – providing information, support and advocacy. But they are also there to help you understand and support carers. Please get in touch with us by email at email@example.com to find out more, or look out for them in your hospital.
Royal Surrey ‘Stars’ nomination
Our Royal Surrey staff were nominated by other staff recently, for the Royal Surrey ‘Star’ Awards:
Paramedics will encounter carers at points of crisis. Recognising the carer’s role, as well as their wealth of knowledge about the cared-for, can help in these situations. Again, letting people you meet know about Action for Carers and the help we offer – including in hospitals – can be very helpful.
We are hoping to have information about Action for Carers available shortly on some of Surrey’s paramedics’ hand-held devices.
Pharmacists are key professionals to help identify and support carers. Many carers will get medications for the person they support, and so will frequently be visiting pharmacies. You can help carers by letting them know about Action for Carers and the support we offer.
Social workers are pivotal in finding and supporting carers. Action for Carers works closely with Surrey County Council to ensure the best possible support.
Action for Carers
We can support the carers you encounter in many different ways – including giving information, support, advocacy, help with benefits, and workshops/training. We also provide social activities, to give carers a break from their caring role. We facilitate peer support, with over 40 support groups running each month across the county.
Support and training for professionals
We also support and train professionals – take a look at our training programme. We can come and talk to groups of professionals, and advise and inform on carers’ matters. Please get in touch.