Due to the COVID-19 pandemic unpaid carers are under increased pressure with many providing more care than they have before and some have been unable to take any breaks in the last seven months as the needs of those they care for have increased.

Your rights as a carer

As a carer you have specific rights and entitlements and during these unprecedented times it’s more important than ever that you are aware of the support available to you. These include;

  • The right to have your needs assessed – this is called a carers’ assessment
  • To register with a GP practice and have access to health checks and free flu jabs
  • The right not to be discriminated against
  • Rights if you are in employment; to include flexible working arrangements and additional support at work

Remember – it is important to let your GP know you are a carer, so that your health needs can be taken into account.

More about a carer’s assessment

Since April 2015, all carers now have the legal right to a carer’s assessment of their own needs, regardless of whether the person they care for is in receipt of any support from social services.

A carer’s assessment can really help as it looks at the different ways that caring affects your daily life and looks at what help and support you may be entitled to so that you can better continue in your caring role. Your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing are at the heart of the assessment.

As a result of having the assessment, you may be eligible for support and possibly a direct payment. A carer’s assessment is free and confidential. To find out more contact us at icareyoucare@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk or contact your local carers organisation, more details below.

Young Carers

As a young carer or young adult carer you have the right to an assessment and support for you and your family. Find out more here in the ‘know your rights’ document available through the Carers Trust.

Here at Oxford Health we recognize the importance of supporting the carers that look after our patients. We are able to offer a range support which may help you in your caring role, these include;

  • A family and carer befriending line
  • Support Groups
  • Educational Workshops
  • Courses through our recovery colleges
  • Talking Therapies – if you are experiencing stress, anxiety or low mood.

More information on the above, can be found here on the support page of our new carers website.

If you or someone you know is a carer please encourage them to seek the support they deserve.

Carers can contact the following organisations who can provide information, advice and guidance:

Carers Bucks – Call: 0300 777 2722

Carers Oxfordshire – Call: 0345 050 7666

Swindon Carers Centre – Call: 01793 531133

Bath and NE Somerset: BANES carers centre – Call: 0800 8388 885

Carers Support Wiltshire – Call: 0800 181 4118