Carers Health & Wellbeing Checks
Between August 2009 and March 2011 Devon has benefited from additional funding from the Department of Health and Devon County Council to provide Health and Wellbeing Checks for Carers. This programme of work is now completed, but plans to continue to provide carers with these checks are in various stages of development and implementation:
Devon County Council has agreed £54,000 to continue providing these checks including:
- A partnership arrangement between St.John Ambulance and Hikmat to enable new carers from BME communities to be identified and access checks
- Partnership arrangements between Age UK, St John Ambulance, Devon Carers Link and Devon Rural Communities Council to identify new carers in rural areas of Devon, working carers and carers in traveller communities
- A ‘Looking After Me’ course targeted at working carers
- Work with young carers in transition (16-25yrs) to develop and pilot a health and wellbeing check for this group
NHS Devon has identified an additional £1million to support carers in 2011/12 and a business case is being presented to the Executive Team on 30th August which will include a new specification for GP practices and Pharmacies to provide checks, particularly targeting carers between the ages of 40-74 and carers at risk of admission to hospital (or caring for someone at risk of admission to hospital)
Read how Devon Carers have benefited from a health and wellbeing check:
To read the local programme evaluations follow the links below:
To read the local research evaluations follow the links below:
The DH National evaluation will be available in September
More about what carers said:
In his own words - Read the story of a working carer balancing a demanding career with caring for his family.
Mrs Q of Holsworthy "As a carer, I am very aware of how important it is for me to stay as fit as possible. I show early signs of having Parkinsons and have been part of a programme which promotes exercise rather than medication to control its progression. I took up the offer of a free healthcheck without hesitation because I wanted to put my mind at rest that exercise alone is benefiting my condition. And I'm pleased to say that it is.
"My advice to other carers is to do it. Take up these healthchecks. It's far better to face a problem and deal with it, rather than let it catch up with you."
Mrs C of Honiton “It was very thorough, the nurse talked to me about all sorts of things that we could have to help us if we needed them. At the moment we are managing OK but its comforting to know that help is available. Although I am only a couple of pounds overweight, the test picked up that I have high cholesterol so I have been booked in to have a ‘fasting test’ next week to confirm the result. Just think, I would never have known”.
Mr H of Ottery “They have come up trumps, they have found a problem with my heart that I had no idea I had. Now I am booked for an ECG and have been put on tablets for high blood pressure”
Mrs W “It was really great to have time for myself for a change and to talk about MY problems”.
Mr B.J.F of Exmouth "I found the health check very reassuring that there was nothing wrong, which also reassured my wife."
Read all about one carer's experience of the check and see the article based on his experience which appeared in Devon Talk Magazine (211KB - pdf help) in July 2010
Workplace Checks- A pilot scheme is running for DCC and NHS employees in the Exeter and Newton Abbot areas to access checks in their workplace. Read about how this helped Liz Hankin, an NHS Devon Employee. (5KB - pdf help)
And another working carer who doesn't wish to be named tells us "I found it really useful to have someone to talk too who was really listening and understanding the challenges as a carer I deal with everyday. Emma was really easy to talk too and gave me lots of very useful contacts. Although I thought my own health was really good, following my check this was found actually not to be the case, though nothing to worry about, but I will be following this up with my GP"
I would recommend any working carers to have a health and wellbeing check. It would be nice if these were available once a year.
Find further information about ALL the support available to you on the Devon Carers Link webpages.