Posts Tagged ‘carers’

Links and information about the white paper are on the ROLE group‘s site.

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Another meeting cancelled at very short notice. Carers were very disappointed. We will write to the speaker with a list of questions which we hope he can address promptly.

We will mention the following lists of issues:


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For everyone who couldn’t afford to attend the 5th International carers conference in Leeds …  Carers World Radio have put podcasts of some of the presentations online.

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The transcript of the debate shows the future plans for carers and the carers strategy. This includes the cancellation of Caring with Confidence. They are looking at ‘the best way to reinvest the money to deliver good outcomes for carers’. (Courses will run locally for the next few months.)

Paul Burstow, Minister of State (Care Services) ended the debate saying:

I hold to the view that carers are an important thread that holds communities together. We need to do more to support them. Their value will grow as our society ages and people with disabilities live longer. We must ensure, both across parties and within the coalition, that the refreshed strategy delivers tangible results, rather than being just a statement of intent. It must be clear about delivering change for carers. That is this Government’s commitment, and I look forward to making the difference, along with colleagues, as we go forward.

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We had received apologies from the planned speaker. We had a discussion about current issues for carers in St Helens:

  1. There still isn’t a single phone number for existing service users to contact services.
  2. We were told that families would receive a prompt phone call before 11am if an appointment had to be cancelled. This doesn’t happen.
  3. Carers described a lack of support once the person they care for is stable enough to be discharged back to primary care (the GP). The person may still feel quite unwell – for example they may be taking medication and feel unable to work. But all support ends when they are no longer in primary care – and it all goes at the same time.
  4. People can only access a community support worker for 2 years. Even though they know the deadline, there is no preparation to access alternative support.
  5. If there are less beds, there should be more community support.
  6. There is still a turnover of staff with little continuity of care.

We will bring these issues up with our speaker next month.

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Mike Smith is an award winning mental health professional with 26 years experience. He was a Director of Nursing in Birmingham before leaving in 2001 to become an independent trainer and consultant. He has been a champion of recovery for many years, and has gained international respect for his innovative work on recovery and thriving.

‘We define mental distress as a human condition and variation rather than a disorder, and believe that once we view people as distressed rather than ill, it opens up a wealth of opportunities to support the individual towards recovery and thriving.’

Mike originally trained at Winwick Hospital and had worked for many years within the NHS. Now he works for his own consultancy which has developed the THRIVE model.


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1 in 5 carers have left, or had to turn down, a job because of caring responsibilities.

Do you need some extra support to help you to combine paid work with caring and help reduce financial hardship?

Extra support announced today includes:

  • Ensuring carers have access to appropriate employment programmes – including one-to-one work focused support for carers
  • Funding for replacement care for participation in approved activities (including employment training)
  • A Care Partnership Manager in every Jobcentre Plus district
  • Specialist training for advisers who work with carers

This is all part of the short-term aims of the Carers Strategy.

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St Helens Carers Centre now has a Breaks Officer who can help you towards getting a carers break payment. The amount of funding is dependent on your caring role and not on your financial situation – it is NOT means tested.

The fund can be used for any break – as long as it gives you a break from your normal day to day caring role.

The fund comes from the PCT who were allocated the money. Gordon Brown has said about this fund:

‘We have set aside the money; I want to see it spent. It is a necessary means by which we can support the energy of carers, who need time off, and therefore need respite care to be available.’

We have asked the PCT to confirm the amount available for carers in St Helens – and for a breakdown of proportions spent on people supporting someone with mental health needs. We’d also like to know how carers were involved in the decisions on how to allocate the money.

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At the last meeting, a group of carers from St Helens asked why people are not being told they’ve been discharged from services. Hopefully tomorrow, he will be able to offer some feedback.

The meeting is tomorrow – 2nd October –  from 1-4pm at Hollins Park in the Education Centre. Lunch is served from 12.30 and the meeting is open to all.

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August 12th was a social event for all carers in St Helens who support someone through mental distress (mental health problems).

The staff from together were out in force. As always, they prepared a wonderful buffet of sandwiches, home made cakes and scones as well as healthier options of strawberries. There were smoothie drinks as well as non-alcoholic refreshing fruit punch made to a secret recipe.

It was good to see so many familiar faces from all the different groups as well as new carers. There was a very welcoming atmosphere and it didn’t take long before everyone was chatting away.

We handed out copies of our mailout and leaflets as well as our last take care magazine. We took the names and addresses of everyone who attended so that we can make sure that our mailing list is up to date.

If you want to be on our mailing list to receive our mailout (either by post or email), do get in touch.

Thank you to all the carers who attended the social evening tonight. Thank you also to Beryl, one of the ward managers at Peasley Hope and Recovery Centre, for taking time to attend our meeting. And of course a huge thank you to everyone from together for their wonderful catering and support.

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