HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

●● WITH Dr Paul Bowen, a GP with McIlvride Med­i­cal Prac­tice, Poyn­ton, and ex­ec­u­tive chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG). EV­ERY day 6,000 peo­ple take on a new car­ing role in the UK.

Up and down the UK there are 6.5 mil­lion peo­ple car­ing un­paid for an ill, frail or dis­abled fam­ily mem­ber or friend.

In eastern Cheshire, there are around 21,000 un­paid car­ers.

If car­ers aren’t sup­ported, they may be­come un­well, and this has an im­pact on who­ever they are car­ing for.

That’s why we’re plac­ing great im­por­tance on sup­port­ing car­ers through our Car­ing To­gether pro­gramme.

Joined-up care is al­ready im­prov­ing pa­tients’ lives.

For ex­am­ple, Knutsford has a neigh­bour­hood team of health and so­cial care work­ers who meet ev­ery fort­night to plan com­mu­nity-based care that keeps peo­ple out of hos­pi­tal and of­fers respite to those who look af­ter them.

Peo­ple ben­e­fit­ing from this have in­cluded a Knutsford man who is the sole carer for his 86-yearold mother, who is in good health phys­i­cally but has de­men­tia.

He used to be able to go away for a few days, leav­ing his mother with help from daily car­ers.

How­ever her con­di­tion wors­ened to the point that she be­came abu­sive to­wards her car­ers and would no longer al­low them into her home.

The last time he left his mother for a few days, she was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal as an emer­gency.

The case was brought to the neigh­bour­hood team by the woman’s GP, who di­ag­nosed a urine in­fec­tion and iden­ti­fied her son as a carer at break­ing point.

So­cial care work­ers from Cheshire East Coun­cil in­stalled tech­nol­ogy in her home so she could be alone safely for a few hours.

Cheshire and Wir­ral Part­ner­ship NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, which pro­vides men­tal health ser­vices, ar­ranged for her men­tal ca­pac­ity to be as­sessed by a con­sul­tant so suit­able respite care could be ar­ranged.

Her son was then able to go on hol­i­day, know­ing that she was be­ing cared for.

The CCG and coun­cil are work­ing with part­ners to write a joint strat­egy for car­ers of all ages.

The strat­egy will pro­vide a wide range of new sup­port ser­vices for car­ers.

For in­for­ma­tion on ser­vices, visit www. cheshireeast.gov.uk and search for ‘care and sup­port’.

●● Dr Paul Bowen

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