Pharmacies Can Help Prevent Carers Reaching Crises

Fiona Kaley, Information and Development Worker, gave a brief presentation to the CPNY Committee during their September 2015 meeting. It highlighted how pharmacies could play an important part in preventing people (Carers) who are caring without pay, for a friend or relative, from reaching crisis point. A Carer may be caring due to illness, disability, a mental health problem, an addiction or simply because someone is frail or elderly. Hambleton and Richmondshire Carers Centre (H&RCC) is one of 5 independent contracted providers of Carer Support Services throughout North Yorkshire. They are all charitable organisations providing free information and confidential support to people who care for a friend or relative. Three of the providers, including H&RCC, are Network Partners with Carers Trust, the national charity for carers, which has already worked at national level with pharmacy colleagues to raise awareness of carer issues.

H&RCC works very closely with Scarborough Ryedale Carers Resource to cover four district areas, but all providers are closely linked and a consistent service is available to all Carers across the County. In Hambleton, Richmondshire, Scarborough Borough, Ryedale and Harrogate, charities offer an integrated service to Carers from the age of 8 upwards. In other areas, providers offer either adult or young carer services.

All services include the following minimum offer:

  • Information and advice by telephone, email or website.
  • Emotional support at a place and time that suits the Carer.
  • Advice about and support with Carer benefits and the welfare system.
  • Access to and support with a statutory Carers Assessment.
  • Help to negotiate their way through Health and Social Care systems.
  • Signposting or referral to other specialist agencies.
  • Support from other carers through peer support, training or specialist groups.

Two of the main barriers to people getting help when they need it are:

  • People not recognising themselves as a Carer – ‘I’m just helping my husband/mother/child as I usually do.’
  • People are not aware of the support available in the local area from charities like H&RCC.

Pharmacies, along with other health organisations, are well placed to help break down barriers by thinking about different ways in which they can contribute to raising awareness, such as:

  • Displaying leaflets and posters about local services.
  • Providing carer information in or on prescription bags.
  • Sponsoring an event.
  • Helping to promote Carers Week in June each year.
  • Referring or signposting Carers, with their permission, directly to support.

All Carer service providers are interested in working with pharmacies to raise awareness within their localities. Please contact your local Carer Support Service to find out more and for leaflets and information specific to your locality.

Locality Carers’ Centre Contact Details
Hambleton and Richmondshire H&R Carers Centre

01609 780872

Scarborough Borough (includes Whitby) and Ryedale SR Carers Resource

01723 850155

Selby Cloverleaf, Carers Count Selby District

0300 012 0415 (adult service only)

Action for Children, Selby Young Carers

07540 920 431

Harrogate and Craven Carers’ Resource

01423 500555 OR 01756 700888

Action for Children, Harrogate and Craven Young Carers

01423 799 135

For pharmacies in Hambleton and Richmondshire please contact Fiona Kaley, who is happy to pop in at a time to suit you, to introduce herself and discuss ways in which you might be able to support carers in your local area:

Carers Centre