Newham

Newham’s secret army of carers could be entitled to support

29 May 2015 in Health
Newham’s estimated 25,000 carers are being urged to come forward as part of national Carers Week to ensure they are getting the support they are entitled to.
To coincide with Carers Week, between 8 and 14 June, Newham Council and NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are raising awareness of the support the borough’s unpaid carers could be eligible for under the Care Act 2014. This support would help them maintain their caring role well as continuing to be able to lead their own lives.

Thousands of Newham residents provide unpaid care to family members, relatives or friends who needs help because of their age, physical or mental illness, or disability. The care they give ranges from helping with their washing, eating, taking them to regular appointments or simply keeping them company if they feel lonely or anxious.

Following a carers assessment, people could be eligible for practical help like having someone else support them in their caring role so they can have a break, or for a direct payment so that they can spend money on things that make their caring role easier. More information on how people can apply and the assessment process can be found at www.newham.gov.uk/carers
Throughout Carers Week the council and the NHS Newham CCG will be hosting free events across the borough for people to get more information and advice from social workers and other organisations supporting carers in Newham.

A special fun day for carers is also being held on Saturday 13 June at Chargeable Lane Resource Centre, Plaistow between 11am and 6pm. Among the events on offer will be Zumba classes, balloon modelling, face painting, crafts and health checks.

Councillor Clive Furness, mayoral advisor for adults and health said: “Caring for anyone is a selfless act and those who undertake this role deserve respect and admiration.

“However, it is just as important that their needs are supported as much as the person they are looking after. Often carers do not think of themselves, but they should keep in mind what would happen if they are not around or able to provide care to their relative or friend.

“This is why I would urge anyone who is performing an unpaid carers role to come along to one of the events or contact the council to see how we may be able to support them. This could include finding local support groups for carers, and training and activity days for young carers.”

Dr Zuhair Zarifa, local GP and chairman of NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Carers are the unsung heroes in the community, going over and above their duties. They provide quality care for patients that are unable to look after themselves; often they have to stop working to care for a family member or friend.

“The service they provide to the community is immeasurable. Carers relieve the pressure on the hospital system, which allows doctors and nurses to provide medical assistance to other patients. It’s important that carers register with their local GP, to access a number of support services.”

Anyone not able to attend one of the events but who wants to find out more about what support they could be entitled to should either visit www.newham.gov.uk/carers or call 020 8430 2000 and select option 2.