Health services provided in the community are known as primary health care services. These includes your local surgery, GP, nurses, community matrons, community pharmacies and services such as community mental health and Public Health.
The most important first step is to notify your GP that you are now a carer.
The Surgery has a carers’ register which means that your record will show that you are caring for someone. This should be linked to their record which means discussions of their care and support needs should include you.
Once your GP knows you are a carer you should be offered services: these vary from surgery to surgery but might include access to Talking Therapies, flexible appointment times, health checks and flu jabs.
It is in your Surgery’s interest to keep you healthy: if a carer becomes unwell then the NHS has two people to support.
If you are looking after someone with a particular condition such as mental health illness you will be meeting new community health professionals.
To understand more about the condition you are supporting and the community services offered through the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation we recommend visiting their website.
The earlier you can learn about the condition you are supporting, the quicker you will access help. Nearly all disabilities have national charities, most of whom have information publications and helplines. Some also have research bodies.
Many of the most common disabilities have local networks and support groups. If you would like to find more advice on the condition you are supporting please contact our Helpline and we will signpost you to the most appropriate organisations to help you:. Please call 01753 303428 or email sloughcarerssupport.co.uk
Our section on Health and Exercise is designed to help you self-care. Your local Surgery may run a number of initiatives including walking groups which have hidden benefits for family carers. Having time away from caring, which is often called respite,combined with gentle exercise may help you carry on caring for longer mentally as well as keeping you fit. Many carers feel very isolated because of caring.
If your caring does not let you take part in leisure or exercise activities because you need someone to provide care please contact our Helpline team who will advise you on options for respite, please call 0800 988 5462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.