Your health & local services
Here you can find advice for carers, and information on the ways that Bristol Clinical Commissioing Group (CCG), Bristol City Council and other voluntary organisations can support you if you are caring for somebody else.
You can find out more and request a carer’s assessment at Bristol City Council (Carers).
What is a carer?
A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help for reasons such as illness, disability, mental ill health or a substance misuse problem.
Being identified as a carer is important because it can help you access extra support you might need.
A carer might be:
- an adult caring for a relative with a long-term condition, such as dementia
- a young carer (under 19) who cares for a parent or sibling in a role normally expected of an adult
- or a parentcarer of a disabled child
You may be balancing your caring role with work, school or raising a child, and the care you give will vary in its nature and amount. The person you care for may be a family member or a friend, and they may or may not live with you.
You may be eligible to receive a carers’ allowance or a direct payment for a service that helps you to manage your role, without this affecting your status as carer.
If you’re employed as a carer or working unpaid for a voluntary organisation, you’re not entitled to carers’ support.
How to access support:
Find out whether you are eligible for a carers’ assessment
Most carers have the right to an assessment of their own needs. It’s a chance for you to discuss, identify and access the help you need to balance caring with your own work, family and health needs. It can include regular breaks, payments and equipment.
You can find out more about who is eligible for an assessment at NHS Choices Carers Direct.
To request a carers’ assessment, find out about carers’ breaks and other support go to the Bristol City Council website.
Tell your GP
They will record that you are caring for someone and offer support and advice. Because caring for others can be very demanding, remember to discuss your own health and emotional needs.
Share information with health and social care professionals
If the person you care for is in hospital, tell staff and share information about the person you care for.
NHS staff have a legal duty to protect an individual’s confidentiality. If you want information about the person you care for, then staff may seek the patient’s consent first. They may apply the Mental Capacity Act if the person you care for cannot give this consent on their own behalf.
If you care for someone with dementia, please ask staff for a ‘This is me’ leaflet – a practical guide for people with dementia and their carers going into hospital.
Obtain support if you care for someone with learning difficulties who is going into hospital
Ask for support from the Learning Difficulty Nurses. These specialist nurses can offer support to you and the person you care for during their stay in hospital. Our local hospitals have a carers’ charter, outlining commitment to carers:
Access to information, financial support and breaks from caring, help you manage the impact of caring on your own life. To find out more, please contact the following organisations:
- The Carers Support Centre Bristol and South Gloucestershire
- Bristol City Council Care Direct
- Young Carers Bristol and South Gloucestershire
- Alzheimer’s Society
- Bristol Black Carers
- Rethink Carers Service
- Carers Trust
- Dhek Bhal (South Asian carers support)
- Bristol and Avon Chinese Women’s Group
- Hawkspring – supporting drug and alcohol recovery
- Bristol Parent Carers
- Money Advice Service (Young carers)
If you are a carer, you may need to become a court appointed deputy or make a lasting power of attorney.
A deputy is someone appointed by the Court of Protection. You make decisions for someone who is unable to do so on their own until either that person dies or is able to make decisions on their own again.
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint people (known as‘attorneys’) to make decisions on your behalf.
See these two guides below from Dr Anna Greaves, Family GP:
Making a lasting power of attorney
Making a lasting power of attorney - information for carers including: who you can and can't choose as your attorney, forms, payment, registering, making copies, cancelling and ending the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
Becoming a court appointed deputy
Becoming a court appointed deputy - information for carers: including: who can and can't be a deputy, role of the deputy, decisions a deputy can't make, application, fees and court fees, your forms reports and supervision, health and welfare
The Carers Support Centre provides support, information and advice to carers of any age living in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire areas.
Carers Health Project Update
Carers Health Project Update September 2012 to June 2013: the Carers Support Centre work with Bristol CCG to ensure carers views are represented. The Carers Health Team works with hospital staff and GPs and provide direct support to carers. This project update provides details on ...