Suggestions for new carers

We often get asked to offer suggestions for people who have just realised they are a carer. This may be after many years of a caring role.

We’d suggest –

  1. Get in touch with the Carers Centre.
  2. Meet other carers – attend carers groups. Many of us don’t like joining groups or talking about our problems with strangers, but carers are often isolated. Joining a carers group is a great way to meet people who are facing similar issues and to reassure yourself that you are not alone in this. Other carers have specific knowledge about local services. And sometimes it is actually helpful to talk to strangers rather than family.
  3. Ask the care coordinator for a carers assessment. The Carers Centre and Carers groups can also tell you about assessments, but a care coordinator will need to do the assessment.

Just heard about this (no comment about lack of communications) – would be good if mental health carers went along –

The Carers Centre and members of the St Helens Integrated Commissioning Team, are facilitating a number of drop in sessions on 1st June 2016 (10-11am, 2-3pm and 6-7pm) for Adult Carers, regarding Carers Assessments and to discuss the future approach regarding Carer Personal Budgets (formerly known as Carer Breaks). The sessions will be held at Fishwick House, 18 Cotham Street, St Helens, WA10 1SJ (opposite the town hall).
Please confirm if you wish to attend one of the sessions by contacting the Carers Centre on 01744 675615 or email info@sthelenscarers.org.uk

May 2016 Update

[I am updating our site – I’m sorry if some links might not work or might be out of date.]

Our next meetings for 2016 are

June 8th; July 13th; August 10th; September 14th

All carers are made welcome at our meetings.

We meet on the second Wednesday of each month, starting at 6.30pm through to about 8.30pm. We know that carers’ time is precious and understand if you can’t stay for the whole meeting.

The group meets at:

United Reformed Church, King St, St Helens, WA10 2JZ

To contact us

email: sthelensmhcarers@gmail.com

We had invited representatives from 5 Boroughs to update us on local mental health services.

Mike, Elaine and Julie described recent changes across the Trust, and emphasised that these should make no difference to our access to local services.

Julie described all the activities that are now on offer on the wards, including art therapies, cooking, mindfulness, relaxation, pet therapy, music, and reading. The gym is also available with staff support. Carers were pleased to hear about all this activity.

The Section 136 suite (which is used when people are brought for assessment by the police) is based at Whiston Hospital and there is no intention to move it back to St Helens.

The project where the mental health teams work alongside the police team to support people, has resulted in a significant reduction in use of Section 136 and has been extended for another year. Carers said they would like to hear more about this project at a future meeting.

The Trust Board have recently discussed the Mazars report. Mike described the very positive work the Trust has done to ensure reports of serious and untoward incidents. Although some carers had specific concerns which Elaine will follow up.

There is a Triangle of Care noticeboard on the wards and carers are involved in discharge planning and reviews. Staff now have more informal contact with families on the wards. There are plans to support community teams, with an additional carers meeting. Members of our group will support this new group.

There is a mental health awareness day on Tuesday 17th May at Harry Blackman House – 11-1pm. Members of our group hope to attend.


December meetings

Remember we don’t hold a meeting in December – though we’ll be going to the Stand up for Stigma comedy event at St Helens Central Library. It’s the last one for this year so it would be good to see you there.

Mince pies!  An informal meeting in the run up to Christmas.

Thank you to together for the hot pot and chilli evening last week.

Wishing everyone a peaceful and safe festive season.

5 Borough’s Acute Care Pathway consultation: Carers emphasised that they were concerned that it looked like all services will be provided from one central location. Transport across the Borough can be expensive and people have to get more than one bus to get to Peasley Cross.

Carers defined a ‘good’ service as one with prompt service within time limits. People should get help when they need it. Carers highlighted the weekly drop in with a psychiatrist which was provided at Vista Road. People had their 3 monthly appointments, but if they needed to see someone sooner they could attend the drop in without an appointment. Carers hope this best practice will be in the new model.

Pat’s Petition

This e-petition was started by a group of volunteers who are all disabled or have caring responsibilities.

Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families

The government were embarking on wholesale reform of the benefit system when the economic crisis struck. These welfare reforms had not been piloted and the plan was to monitor and assess the impact of the new untried approach as it was introduced in a buoyant economy.

Unfortunately since then the economy has gone in to crisis and the government has simultaneously embarked on a massive programme of cuts. This has created a perfect storm and left disabled people/those with ill health, and their carers reeling, confused and afraid.

We ask the government to stop this massive programme of piecemeal change until they can review the impact of all these changes, taken together, on disabled people and their carers. We ask the government to stand by its duty of care to disabled people and their carers. At the moment the covenant seems to be broken and they do not feel safe. Illness or disability could affect any one of us at any time, while many more of us are potential carers.

Please read and sign the petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968

More information online at: http://carerwatch.com/reform/