Caring for the carers

Carers make a huge difference to the person they care for, to the community and to the country as a whole.

With 133,000 carers across Hampshire and 108,000 in Surrey, most of us either are carers or we know someone who is.

This Carers’ Week (June 11-17) is the perfect time to thank those people who dedicate themselves to supporting family members, friends, neighbours or complete strangers, and also to ensure that they have the support they need.

Dr Peter Bibawy is acting Clinical Chair of NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans and funds the majority of health services for the 235,000 people registered with local GP surgeries.

He said: “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to carers for their efforts in supporting people with all manner of health needs across all of our communities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all that they do.

“Many people care for family members and because they can see it as their duty to their loved one they do not always think to ask for anything to help themselves, or they put their own health needs last. This can lead to them suffering physical or mental health problems themselves.

“We want carers in North East Hampshire and Farnham to know what support and advice is available to them and to be able to access that support, so they can remain fit and healthy. The healthier the carer, the better the quality of care they can provide.”

In North East Hampshire the CCG works with The Princess Royal Trust for Carers to support the local carer population. In Farnham the service is provided by Action for Carers Surrey.

Regular ‘Carers Hubs’ are provided in Aldershot, Farnborough, Fleet and Yateley, offering a one-stop-shop with help and advice from experts in a range of areas, from nutrition to legal matters. The hubs are for anybody across the CCG area and both carers and the cared-for person are welcome.

More information on the hubs, including dates and times, can be found here: http://www.northeasthampshireandfarnhamccg.nhs.uk/support-and-services/carers-advice-lines

Kerry Hearsey, Chief Executive of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Hampshire, said: “Carers’ Week raises awareness of carers and the challenges they face as well as recognising the contribution they make to their families, friends and the community.

“Carers save the government £132 billion annually which is the cost of a second NHS and this week we are holding various events to say thank you and to highlight the support that is available to carers.”

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