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Tributes paid to people who care for family and friends

todayNovember 26, 2020

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North Yorkshire is paying tribute on Carers Rights Day to the tens of thousands of people across the county who care for family and friends.

The County Council wants to thank the 60,000 people in North Yorkshire caring for loved ones – a fundamentally important service during these difficult times.

Their vital work has kept the county running during the Covid-19 pandemic, but also beyond that too – providing compassion, care and support.

Many people who care for friends and family in this way provide round-the-clock care and support,  with little time for respite or rest.

The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown and restrictions have amplified this situation – but it was present before the Coronavirus outbreak, too.

Richard Webb, Corporate Director for Health and Adult Services, said:

“It’s thought that an estimated 60,000 across the county are caring for loved ones at present. That’s one in ten people, so it’s likely that in our own lives we know someone in this position.

“The events of the last year have put more pressure on carers than ever before. We want to thank them for everything they continue to do. Along with colleagues in the NHS and health services, they are a vital part in keeping the county running.”

Carers Resource in Scarborough and Ryedale, an organisation which supports carers, has also pledged to continue to support and champion carers rights.

This includes supporting approximately 2,000 unpaid carers each year with one-off pieces of advice and support, longer term planning and support packages.

They are also testing The Carers Champion Training, a brand-new programme developed by carer colleagues in City Health Carer Partnership, Hull, and launched tomorrow as a collaborative training provision between CHCP, East Riding Carers Centre and Carers Resource.

The training aims to increase awareness around the needs of the carer, their rights and the routes of support available.

Elizabeth McPherson, Chief Officer at Carers Resource, added: “Everyone knows the importance of having the ‘right information at the right time’ can make a huge difference to people’s lives.

“We believe every day is a ‘Carers Rights Day’ and work to equip our Carers with the tools and information they need to help them navigate their individual challenges and find a clear pathway to a well-balanced life.”

Cllr Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing, said: “I want to thank carers for the incredible work they do day in, day out. It’s extremely invaluable.

“Many people who are caring for loved ones may not even realise that is what they are doing. They may think it’s part of their responsibility or role as a loved one.

“It’s important to recognise and support these carers, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure they can access the support they need.”

Cllr Michael Harrison, Executive Member for Adult Services and Health Integration, said: “The work that carers do in looking after their friends and family is invaluable and is appreciated, particularly as the

Covid-19 pandemic continues onwards.

“It’s important anyone who is caring for a loved one in this way has access to the right support, and we at North Yorkshire County Council have measures in place to make sure this happens.”

The County Council has established one point of contact – its customer service centre on 01609 780780.  The line is open seven days a week from 8am to 5.30pm for people to call who are without other help. Carers can also ring this number if they have any questions about the wellbeing of the person they are looking after and any other care they are receiving.

More information can be found at https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-community-support

Carers Rights FAQ

Where can I get support as a carer?

If you are looking after someone who could not manage without your help, you have a right to have your own needs assessed, even if the person you are looking after has had an assessment of their own. The assessment will look at the care you provide and how this affects your life. It will consider the things you want to achieve in your own day-to-day life, such as work, training, social activities and wellbeing. It must also consider other important issues including whether you are able or willing to carry on caring, and it will inform you about what services and support are available to you.

If you are a carer who appears to have a need for support, we will offer you a carer’s assessment. https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/carer-assessment

If you are in contact with a carers’ resource centre, you can ask them for an assessment.

A Carers Emergency Card will identify you as a carer if you have an accident or are unable to identify yourself, so that the person you care for will receive emergency support; https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/carers-emergency-card

There are many organisations in North Yorkshire which support carers, including carers’ centre and carers’ resources, which give practical and emotional support.

Do I have rights as a working carer?

As an unpaid carer you have a right to request flexible working, time off in emergencies and parental leave. The Employment Rights Act 1996 gives all employees the right to take a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off work in order to deal with an emergency involving a dependant. It is at the discretion of the employer, whether or not the time off is paid or unpaid.

If you are an employee with 26 weeks continuous employment at the time you make an application, you have the right to request flexible working.

You also have the right not to be discriminated against or dismissed because you have made the request.

To find out more about your rights contact your local carers centre or visit the Carers UK website here

What financial help is available for carers?

As an unpaid carer, it is important to know what benefits you and the person you care for are entitled to. It might make a difference to your pension entitlements in the future or bring in extra money to help pay for care. For further information about the Care Act, and for useful fact sheets regarding Carers Rights and benefits cobntact your local carers centre or see the Carers UK website.

How do I look after myself and the person I care for during Covid restrictions?

Working with our carers centres we’ve pulled together a factsheet and a list of 10 sources of helpful information and advice for unpaid carers.

https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-community-support#carerhelp

Will my GP know that I am a carer?

Your GP may not necessarily be aware that you are a carer looking after someone. So it is worth making sure your GP practice has you registered as a carer on your medical record. This will entitle you to a free flu vaccination and may also offer flexibility with appointment times for yourself and/or the person you care for to accommodate your caring situation.

Can I get a flu jab as a carer?

As a carer, you are entitled to a free flu jab each year if you receive a carer’s allowance or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick. Tell your GP or pharmacist that you are a carer. Find out further information here: www.nhs.uk/flu

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