Who is a carer?
A carer is a person who provides regular and substantial care to a relative or friend who, through frailty, illness or disability, would not be able to manage independently without help.
The carer can be of any age and provides help on an unpaid basis. They do not always call themselves a carer, but they need to be recognised, and we need to listen to what they have to say.
How does the Trust help and support carers?
Carers play a vital role in the care of our patients. As a carer, you may also sometimes need support that can be arranged through various carers support groups. The Trust will form an engagement with you enabling you to access the services provided. We will:
- Give supportive information
- Give information on how to access carers grants (where appropriate)
- Give advice on how to access services from others carer organisations
- Give guidance on carer assessments
What can I expect?
What a carer should expect from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
- To be listened to and treated with respect
- To be involved in the assessment, planning, crisis planning and review of care for the person they care for
- To receive a carers information pack
- To be offered carers assessment
- To receive a Carers Care Plan and information about and services or support that may assist them in their caring role
- To be given information about personal budgets to fund elements of the Carers Care Plan (if applicable)
- To be directed to any support services which may be of help
- Receive a review of the care plan each year
- To be asked about their experience of the service provided and for the information to be used to improve quality and services
- To receive a copy of the care plan for the person they care for (if they agree)
- To be involved in service developments and reviews (if they wish)
What is a Carer’s Assessment?
A Carer’s Assessment is an opportunity for you to discuss your caring role and identify the issues and needs you may have as a carer. The assessment can help you to feel more supported, less isolated and make you more aware of the support available to you.
Carers have a right to their own assessment, even if the person they care for does not wish to engage with our services.
Carers often feel that if the person who is ill is receiving the right services then their needs are being met. It is important to realise that the assessment is not an assessment of your ability to care or your financial status. It can be a challenging process to go through – admitting being a carer, admitting how much it involves - however, the assessment is offered by someone willing to spend time helping you through it and it should enable you to identify where you may need support and how to get it. This should improve your ability and skills to cope with your role as a carer. The assessment may be offered by the care coordinator during a care plan meeting. If not, then it is perfectly alright for you to request one when you feel comfortable about it.
How do I get a Carer’s Assessment?
If you provide a regular and substantial amount of care for someone aged 18 or over, you can ask the social services department in your local council for a carer's assessment.
You can ask your care coordinator to explain and help you to complete an assessment, or you can call Norfolk County Council on 0844 8008014 or Suffolk Adult and Children Services on Freephone 0808 800 4005 or you can contact your GP who will help.
More information about the carer's assessment is available from Directgov
Aidan Thomas - Chief Executive. Maggie Wheeler - Chair.
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT)