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Carers Rights Day 2021

This year, Carers Rights Day will be held on Thursday 25 November. It is a dedicated day to remind those already in a caring role what their rights are and what support is available. It also presents an opportunity to reach out to those who have recently started to look after someone who couldn’t manage without their support. They may be at the very start of their caring journey and possibly unaware of their rights, and where and how to access support.

Carers need to know their rights wherever they are in their caring journey: whether they are in the workplace, in a healthcare setting, when interacting with professionals or at home. This Carers Rights Day, we want to empower carers with information and support, so they can feel confident asking for what they need. We also want carers to know how to challenge things when their rights are not being met.

Carers have the Right to – a Carer’s Assessment
If you care for an adult in Birmingham and caring has a major impact on your life, you can talk to Birmingham Carers Hub about the help and support you may need across all aspects of your life, including your work. This is called a Carer’s Assessment which Birmingham Carers Hub undertakes on behalf of Birmingham City Council. We will ask you questions about your caring situation, the impact it has on your wellbeing and explain what support is available for you. You are entitled to a written copy of your Carer’s assessment.

If you care for a child with a disability, Birmingham Children’s Trust will consider your own needs as part of the family assessment or you can request a separate assessment by contacting Children’s services on 0121 303 1888. Birmingham Carers Hub can offer a Wellbeing Check for parent carers and advise you about the support we can provide.

If you are under 18 and you are taking on a lot of responsibility as a result of a condition that a grandparent, parent or sibling has, it is important that your needs are looked at too. You can contact Spurgeons who offer support to young carers, call them on 0121 227 7000 or email birminghamyc@spurgeons.org
Further information about Carer’s Assessments is available here.

Carers have the Right to – be recognised as a Carer
If you are registered with the Carers Emergency Response (CERS) team, or you have been in contact with one of our care partners within the NHS trusts, you will have been given a free Partner in Care card.
Birmingham Carers Hub has produced the Partner in Care card to help in the following ways.

– The card identifies you as a Carer and you can carry it with you. The card will also contain a unique reference number, if it states PRN at the start, this is the registration number that is linked to Birmingham Carers Hub, and this code can be used when accessing services that request proof of registration.

– In an emergency, it will give details of your chosen in case of emergency contact so they can be informed as well as alerting services that someone you care for may need assistance.
– The card enables you to access local offers.
The card will be issued by one of our delivery partners such as the Carers Emergency Response (CERS) team, or our health care partners within the NHS trusts.

Carers have the Right to – a free flu jab
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 as well as the flu jab. 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.

Carers have the Right to – be recognised as a Partner in Care
Carers may not have the same medical knowledge as a medical professional but they are experts in knowing how best to care for the person they support. Carers should be included in discussions between doctors and the person they care for because they will be able to provide useful information and insights.

Birmingham Carers Hub works in partnership with University Hospitals Birmingham to provide the Carer Coordinator service. The Carer Coordinator 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 hospital 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 
  • At the moment Carers can be issued the Partner in Care Card by CERS or University Hospitals Birmingham and the Card can be used to identify people as a registered Carer. 
  • Signposting to external organisations for information and support. 

For further information including contacting the Carer Coordinator Service please click here.  

Carers have the Right to – be protected against discrimination
If you look after an older or disabled person, the law – under the Equality Act 2010 – protects you against direct discrimination or harassment because of your caring responsibilities. This is because you are counted as being ‘associated’ with someone who is protected by the law because of their age or disability. Carers UK has information available that explains discrimination by association and harassment, which may be useful if you feel you have been treated unfairly because of your caring role.

Carers have the Right to – request flexible working
Juggling work and care can be very challenging, so it’s important to understand the rights you have both in law and with your employer. Your rights in work come from two sources:

  • the law gives you ‘statutory rights’ which everyone has
  • your contract of employment gives you ‘contractual rights’ which can be more generous than statutory rights.

If you’re looking for information on your rights or how to prepare yourself to discuss flexible working with your employer, Carers UK has lots of information available for you.

Carers have the right to support
We are here to support you throughout your caring journey, the first step is to make sure you are registered with us. This can be done free of charge by completing and submitting this online form. Alternatively, you can call us on 0333 006 9711 or email us. Birmingham Carers Hub advisors are very knowledgeable and have access to a whole range of support and services. You are not alone; we are here to help.

.What is happening on Carers Rights Day?
Find out what activities are taking place here.