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I need support from health services
What is Health Liaison?
It is important that Carers are recognised and supported in health settings such as GP surgeries and hospitals. Our Health Liaison programme aims to develop and maintain links with health professionals and to raise the awareness of Carers and inform them of the support available.
To get the support you need in your Caring role, a great place to start is by informing your GP that you care for somebody. Once you inform your GP that you are a Carer, they can record this on your medical records. Many GP surgeries have a form on their website to help you register as a Carer, however not all do. Carers UK have developed some useful templates to help you register as a Carer with you GP which you can find here.
If your GP knows that you are a Carer, they should be able to offer you more support, information and advice.
Once you inform your GP practice that you are a Carer, please feel free to ask them what support/services are available to you. This may include:
- Understanding some of your health needs and the potential impact your caring role has on your health
- Find out if your GP practice facilitate a Carer Support Group within the practice.
- Arrange repeat prescriptions to be delivered to your local pharmacy or home address to save you from picking them up.
- Being recognised as a ‘partner in care’ and having your expertise valued. *Consent may be required for health professionals to share information with you about the person you care for.
- Arrange double appointments for both you and the person you care for at the same time to avoid visiting the surgery twice.
- Provide information on medical conditions/treatments for the person you care for to help you feel more confident in your caring role.
- Inform you of services provided by the NHS such as continence services and patient transport to hospital appointments/ Carer coordinator service.
- Arrange home visits to you or the person you care for if your caring responsibilities make it difficult to attend appointments at the surgery.
- Provide supporting letters and information to enable you and the person you care for to access benefits such as Attendance Allowance or a blue badge scheme.
Some GP practices in Birmingham offer support groups just for Carers, ask your surgery what they offer for Carers, if they don’t have something in place, this may be just the prompt that they need.
Life can be very busy juggling daily tasks, especially if you have caring responsibilities, but it’s important not to neglect your own health needs. Attending appointments, check-ups and screenings is important for yourself as well as your loved ones. It can be easy to forget about your own health, even if you are feeling unwell, however seeing your GP can help prevent any further health issues and support you in recovering much quicker.
If it has been a while since you have visited your GP, give them a call and arrange a health check. This could include checking your blood pressure, weight or having a conversation about you and your health.
Birmingham Carers Hub’s partners provide different activities to support you with improving your physical health and your mental help, such as yoga and meditation.
Help to Attend Medical Appointments
Register with CERS
By registering (free of charge) with our Carers Emergency Response Service (CERS), you can pre-arrange for a qualified member of staff to stay at home with the person you care for while you attend a medical appointment. You can then attend an appointment with the GP, dentist, optician or any other health related appointment. If there is any kind of an emergency where you are unable to provide care, the CERS team, run by our Delivery Partner midland Mencap, can step in and provide cover for up to 48 hours. Call 0121 442 2960 to register.
The seasonal flu vaccine is free for Carers or anybody receiving Carers Allowance and is the best way to protect yourself and the person you care for from the flu. The thought of becoming unwell can be a huge burden if you have caring responsibilities, therefore receiving your flu jab can put your mind at ease. Talk to your GP to find out more or visit the NHS website.
Carer Support service
Birmingham Carers Hub works in partnership with University Hospitals Birmingham to provide the Carer Support Service. The Carer Support Service works across University Hospital’s Birmingham covering the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Heartlands Hospital, Solihull Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and the Birmingham Chest Clinic. The service works alongside staff to identify Carers and provide support with:
- Helping Carers to recognise their caring role and expertise
- Include you (with permission from the patient) in all stages of care, treatment and decision-making where appropriate.
- Information about support and resources available while attending hospital e.g. Partner in Care Card
- Signposting to external organisations for information and support.
Queen Elizabeth and Good Hope Hospitals Birmingham:
Santiago Las Aparicio
Tel: 07584 475802
Heartlands Hospital and Solihull Hospital:
Tel: 07584 475787
For information on visiting in the hospital during Covid-19 outbreak please click here.
Birmingham Carers Hub has produced the Partner in Care card. It is available to Birmingham Carers for FREE and is designed to help in the following ways:
- The card identifies you as a Carer and you can carry it with you.
- In an emergency it will alert anybody who finds it that you are caring for someone who may need assistance.
- At the moment Carers can be issued the Partner in Care Card by University Hospitals Birmingham and the Card can be used to identify people as a registered Carer.
What is social prescribing?
Health Care professionals can refer patients to a link worker (also known as Social Prescriber) to offer non- clinical support to improve health and wellbeing. If you would like to find out how social prescribing could support you, feel free to ask your GP for further information.
You can also find out more about social prescribing here.
Occupational Therapy Support
If you or the person that you care for is having difficulty with your daily activities or routines such as:
- Getting in and out of bed or chair
- Getting on and off the toilet
- Dressing yourself
- Feeding yourself or making meals
- Managing the stairs
You might benefit from support from one of our drop-in face-to-face clinics. Running daily. 9:30-2pm- No referral or booking needed, just turn up! To find your local drop-in clinic near you click here.
Coronavirus Advice and Long Covid
Post-COVID Syndrome or ‘long COVID’ has a number of signs and symptoms that can affect your physical and mental health. Support is available in Birmingham and Solihull and there are lots of things you can do to help yourself. Find out more about diagnosis and getting a referral.
I am a health professional, how can I help somebody in a Caring role?
If you would like to speak to Birmingham Carers Hub about what support you can give Carers please send us your enquiry. If you are a health professional and would like to refer somebody into Birmingham Carers Hub for support. Please click below
‘What if’ somebody is required to step into my shoes?
A ‘What If’ plan is a document that outlines the types of information you would like someone to know if they had to step into your shoes if something were to happen to you. Pull together important contact names and numbers plus all the relevant information about the person you provide care for so that support can be given in your absence. Keep this ‘What If’ plan in a prominent place and remember to tell a family member or friend about it should you fall ill for example.