Norfolk NHS wants to support unpaid carers after 'incredibly hard' 18 months
To mark Carers Rights Day carers across Norfolk are invited to join an online event to find out about the support available to them.
The virtual event is being held on November 26 from 2-4pm.
The event is open to the public and will include speakers, information on the support available to carers, what rights carers have and provide the chance to ask questions of experts in the field.
Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support.
This year's campaign will focus on raising awareness of the rights of unpaid carers, particularly highlighting the impact COVID has had on their lives, affecting access to services, the ability to juggle work and care and much more. Unpaid carers often face many pressures.
Howard Tidman Senior, carers lead at NSFT, said: “I am really excited about this event. It has been an incredibly hard 18 months for unpaid carers.
"Now more than ever we need to recognise the hard work they do, how we can support them, help them find out where they can get support and what their rights are.
I am confident our event will help answer these questions.”
He said it was important that carers knew what support was available through the Care Act 2015.
“The role of unpaid carers is exhausting and if we don’t support them, they can easily become unwell themselves.
"Our role is to advise unpaid carers their rights and where to access help and support whilst making the Trust more supportive of carers through the Triangle of Care.
"This might be things like understanding diagnosis and medication.
"We aim to pave the way for better outcomes for patients, reducing hospital admissions and validation for the workforce of unpaid and often undervalued carers.”
The event will focus on The Triangle of Care, why is it important to support carers and their rights.
People can dip in and out over the two hours or stay for the whole session.
One guest speaker on the day will be social worker Rebecca Dobbin, who decided to train in her role with Bury community mental health team after being a carer for her dad and supporting her brother whose mental health suffered during that time
“My dad was in hospital a long time after he was attacked in 2015,” said Rebecca. “It made me realise that we have to look after the people who care for others. I see when carers are really struggling and aim to help.”
Rebecca found her own mental health was also suffering with working, travelling to see her dad when he was in hospital in Cambridge and pregnant.
“We have to look at the bigger picture for cares and signpost them to other organisations which can help,” said Rebecca. “And there are many hidden carers too, who might not ask for help with their caring role. So, my message is ‘it’s OK to say you are not OK’. I understand that having been in that position myself.”
The event will be held on Microsoft Teams. You can find the link on NSFT’s website https://www.nsft.nhs.uk/trust-events