●● 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