Showing posts tagged with: Carers UK
Carers should be routinely screened for signs of depression by their GP to ensure their health needs are not neglected, doctors' leaders say.
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) estimates one in every 20 patients registered with a GP practice is providing unpaid care.
About 40% of carers are thought to be at risk of depression or stress because of their caring role.
Carers UK said GPs had a vital role to play in supporting carers.
It is estimated that seven million people in the UK currently provide unpaid care to a sick or disabled child or an adult who could not otherwise live independently.
Many of them are already known to GPs, but the RCGP says more should be done to improve the support and services offered to carers.
It says the "screening" process for depression should involve "a small number of general, non-invasive, questions about mood and mental wellbeing".
The RCGP has also drawn up a list for clinical commissioning groups - groups of GPs that plan local care - to ensure carers' needs are taken into account.
- Improve GP access by allocating routine appointments and vaccinations at convenient times for carers
- Appoint a carers' "champion" in all GP surgeries
- Maintain a carers' register within the GP practice
- Carry out audits to measure improvements in carer support
Dr Clare Gerada, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, said carers often found it hard to admit they were struggling.
"Carers often neglect their own healthcare needs and in many cases it is only a matter of time before they themselves become ill.
"GPs can play a crucial role in identifying potential problems in the early stages and 'screening' for depression is something that many GPs are doing already.
"Commissioners need to invest in supporting carers as a critical asset.
"They already save the public purse £119bn a year and this initiative could save even more by ensuring that carers stay well enough to keep on caring."
Fear and anxiety
Helena Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK, said caring full-time for a family member could leave people cut off from the outside world.
"This isolation, alongside the pressures, fears and anxieties of supporting an ill or disabled loved one can take a serious toll on carers' mental health," she said.
"NHS and social-care services, particularly GPs, are often the first port of call for families with caring responsibilities - they have a vital role to play in identifying carers and helping them access the support they need."
The government's care bill will help people find what support is available to them, a Department of Health spokesperson said.
"We know far too many carers can suffer depression, emotional and physical exhaustion - and it is important that they do not bear this responsibility alone.
"GPs have a critical role to play in identifying people with a caring responsibility and assessing their needs for support, including with depression."
US scientists say they have made progress in repairing spinal cord injuries in paralysed rats.
Rats regained some bladder control after surgery to transplant nerve cells into the spinal cord, combined with injections of a cocktail of chemicals.
The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, could raise hopes for one day treating paralysed patients.
But UK experts say it will take several years of research before human clinical trials can be considered.
Scientists have tried for decades to use transplants of nerve cells to restore function in paralysed animals by bridging the gap in the broken spinal cord.
To read the full article click here.
This was a compliment for Leanne Burke, who works from our Sale Office of Routes Healthcare.
"Just wanted to let you know mum passed away this afternoon. Thank you so much for looking after her and the family. It made things so much easier to know there was some body there who truly cared. Thank you. xx"
Well done Leanne!
You or the person you are looking after may be entitled to certain payments and grants to help with fuel bills or making your home warmer and more energy efficient. There are also simple things you can do to save energy and reduce your bills.
To read more about this click here.
It should be compulsory for NHS staff to identify and support carers, Carers UK has said in a new report highlighting the risks to carers who do not self-identify as such.
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