The theme of this year’s Carers Week (10 – 16 June) is around supporting carers to get connected in their communities. Carers Week will also see the national launch of the new GP Carer Quality Marker which was piloted as a first here in Surrey Heartlands.
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.
This year’s theme, to connect carers to the community could include an employer creating carer-friendly policies by listening to the experiences of their workforce, a GP practice offering an annual health check or alternative appointment times to carers struggling to attend due to their caring responsibilities or a leisure centre offering special deals for carers.
The new GP Quality Markers, piloted here In Surrey Heartlands, offer GP practices an opportunity to benchmark the support they offer to carers which helps consistency of practice and allows them to build on be practice. An example is that in Surrey 58 practices are now offering carers double appointments, recognising this allows carers a better opportunity to address their own health concerns as well as allowing GPs to offer a Carer’s Prescription.
For free information, support, advice for carers contact Action for Carers Surrey on 0303 040 1234 or email CarerSupport@actionforcarers.org.uk.
There’s also a whole world of technology that can also help make life as a carer easier. While technology can never replace being with others, simple devices and Apps can help people connect on a day to day basis, help someone live independently for longer and give peace of mind when you can’t be around. Technology can also help carers connect with each other through online forums providing emotional support. See more at www.surreycc.gov.uk/supportforcarers and use the free access code: DGTL3562.
You can find Carers Week events and activities near you at https://www.surreyinformationpoint.org.uk/ or follow the hashtag #CarersWeekSurrey on social media.